A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) that seeks to lessen congestion, make roadways safer and improve the flow of traffic through busy New Jersey intersections has been approved by the Senate Transportation Committee. The legislation, S-207, would prohibit the planning, designing or construction of any additional jughandles on the roads or highways of the state.
“While jughandles were originally designed to prevent the build up of traffic at intersections, they can no longer handle the high volumes that are now common on many New Jersey roads,” said Holzapfel. “Cars get backed up and people often have to wait through three, sometimes four, light changes to get through an intersection with a jughandle. Modern intersection designs are faster, safer and easier for drivers to navigate.”
Intersections once plagued with massive backups and frequent accidents, including those at Rt. 4/Rt 17 and Rt. 1/Rt. 130, have been fixed in recent years with modern intersections employing flyover lanes that allow cars to exit the roadways without the need to make sharp turns, quickly reduce speed or cross in dangerous merges as they attempt to enter or exit the roadways.
Similarly, other interchange designs eliminate the need to go through an intersection twice and separate traffic entering and exiting a roadway with greater distance, eliminating merges and speeding the flow of traffic.
“Thousands of accidents are caused when traffic entering a highway from a jughandle on-ramp cross with traffic that is merging just feet ahead onto a jughandle off-ramp,” continued Holzapfel. “In many cases, jughandles have become as dangerous as the intersections they were designed to replace.”
Holzapfel added that the bill invites further discussion on the issue of road safety and would not affect existing jughandles.
Senator Holzapfel initially filed the bill in June of 2003 and has resubmitted it every two years for consideration. This is the first time the bill has been posted for review in committee.