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Driving in Circles in New Jersey

Driving in Circles in New Jersey

I was in New Jersey this past weekend with my family for a wedding. We rented a car in Newark and stayed in a Sheraton in Edison which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  The wedding itself was off the Garden State Parkway at a catering hall in Aberdeen.  While it is always nice to get together with family at happy occasions, I found myself cursing New Jersey roadways, as I always do when visiting the Garden State.  Why, I asked no one in particular, can’t you make a left turn in New Jersey?  What is with the “jug handle” system that prevents drivers from making any kind of left turn, u-turn and most right turns off of major roadways?  Why am I driving in circles everywhere I go?

I was in New Jersey this past weekend with my family for a wedding. We rented a car in Newark and stayed in a Sheraton in Edison which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  The wedding itself was off the Garden State Parkway at a catering hall in Aberdeen.  While it is always nice to get together with family at happy occasions, I found myself cursing New Jersey roadways, as I always do when visiting the Garden State.  Why, I asked no one in particular, can’t you make a left turn in New Jersey?  What is with the “jug handle” system that

The damn GPS system constantly reminded me to “make a slight right hand turn” ahead. What is a “slight right hand turn”?  I got confused by drive way entrances, the street that I wanted to turn on and the jug handle I was supposed slightly turn on.  Was I supposed to go all the way around or was I supposed to break off?  If I needed to make a u-turn, I had to double jug, as we began to call it, that is enter the jug handle on the other side of the street.  That required waiting for at least two lights to change.

I have experienced New Jersey driving before and was aware of this ridiculous traffic design, but for some reason it bothered me more on this trip. My son, only a passenger on this trip and never having been behind the wheel in New Jersey, paid close attention and found the experience comical.

I have to wonder how business owners are affected by this traffic pattern. While experienced New Jersey drivers have the skills to navigate from point A to point B, visitors don’t.  I often missed my designated slight right to make a left or u-turn and had to circumnavigate back to get to my desired destination.  As a licensed Florida driver, where defensive driving skills are a must, I can say that New Jersey jug handles would increase road rage in Florida by a factor we don’t even want to contemplate.

David Blattner

David Blattner

dblattner@beckerlawyers.com

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JoAnn Nesta Burnett

jburnett@beckerlawyers.com

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