In Defense of the Jughandle

Because the GOP Senator from Toms River, James Holzapfel, must think our state’s priorities are how we drive, even though many New Jerseyans don’t have jobs to drive to, he’s introduced legislation to eliminate an icon of the Garden State, the jughandle.

I’m not a traffic engineer, but I kind of like the jughandle. It elminates the need to drive across oncoming traffic on a busy highway. And it’s a New Jersey original.

If you think jughandle turns are a pain, how about the “hook turn”, where in order to turn right on a four lane highway, you start out in the left lane? Click on the image for details. (Keep in mind that the sign is from Australia where they drive on the left. So you’re crossing three lanes of traffic to make the right turn.)

Comments (4)

  1. Rosi Efthim

    The first time I ever drove in New Jersey, I got stuck on Route 36 and drove for miles and miles trying to get off and go back the other direction. I’d never heard of jughandles before, was looking left for my chance to turn, and this being New Jersey there was inadequate signage (this was years ago) on the right pointing to the turn.

    Florida turns are funny, too. Cars entire vast intersections from two different directions at once, which is fine if they’re both from there and know who goes first, less reassuring when you’re driving on the same road as the clueless.

  2. Carl Bergmanson

    Why don’t you leave this to the local officials who know the local road conditions better, and work on something more important and more relevant to your job?


  3. denniscmcgrath

    I took the written portion without bothering to read the manual (I had been driving for 20 years at that point).

    One question was: You’re going to make a U-turn in an intersection on a divided highway. Do you make your turn a) from the left lane, b) from the center lane, c) from the right lane, d) none of the above …

    OBVIOUSLY the correct answer is d).

    Unless you are in CA. In which case it’s a).

    I handed the test back to the clerk about 10 minutes after she gave it to me. She scowled mightily. Nevertheless, I passed the written on the first attempt.

    (The road test, too, but that was another day and another story).

  4. denniscmcgrath

    The senator made that clear on the radio this a.m. Without jughandles, more corners could be exploited for real estate.

    That’ll make everything MUCH safer …


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