Jughandle Ban Bill Passes Senate Committee

Measure is sponsored by Ocean County legislator


A bill that would ban the future construction of jughandles in New Jersey passed muster with a state Senate panel Monday, paving the way for its potential consideration before the entire body.

The measure by state Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean) would prohibit the planning, design or construction of any additional jughandles on roads or highways statewide. It passed the Senate Transportation Committee Monday.

Holzapfel, in a statement issued after the committee vote, said the bill was inspired by projects on several state highways—including Routes 1, 4 and 130—where issues of heavy congestion and frequent accidents were solved by removing jughandles and replacing them with flyover bridges and modernized intersection designs.

"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, in the statement. "Cars get backed up and people often have to wait through three, sometimes four, light changes to get through an intersection with a jughandle."

Holzapfel first proposed the prohibition of jughandle construction in 2003 when he served in the General Assembly, and resubmitted it every two years since when new legislative sessions opened. Monday was the first time the bill saw the light of day in a committee review.

Instead of jughandles, new intersections would be designed with flyover bridges – essentially, overpasses – or with lane structures that eliminate the need to go through an intersection twice and separate traffic entering and exiting a roadway with greater distance, thus avoiding the potential for accidents and speeding up traffic flow in the process.

Holzapfel's bill would not affect current jughandles.

Claire DeNaro February 05, 2013 at 01:04 PM
Years ago, before they thought of using jug handles, we had here in New Jersey, circles and they worked very well and kept traffic moving. Why can't we put in circles and see how it works. I am all for it.
Peter Koenig February 05, 2013 at 08:32 PM
May I differ on traffic circles? I recall the old Eatontown circle. IMHO it was dangerous and caused delays. Don't know enough about traffic design to comment intelligently on jughandles, but the need for a statute puzzles me. If jughandles are bad - and maybe they are - why does the Legislature have to tell the traffic design engineers not to use them? Don't the engineers know what to do?
Daniel P. Brown February 06, 2013 at 11:30 PM
When I rode with Eatontown First Aid, there were accidents at the intersection and the remnants of the circle.... but 36 & Wyckoff, with left turns, was far worse. Now, up here in Northeast Pennsylvania, where there are no jughandles and only one circle (well, square, really, which is in Wilkes-Barre), traffic consistently gets snarled and left-turning folks wind up in serious head-on crashes. I would wonder if traffic control devices with short stops (like entering highways around Virginia and DC) might help with the circles. Might delay you by a few seconds, but could ease merging and lane-switches without stopping traffic for a long period at a full red light.


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