Only on a Sunday, or "He went --<>-- thataway"

New Jersey, The Jug-Handle State.

We’re the only state in the Union where left turns are illegal… unless you’re a $mart@$$ in a luxury car with government plates, or something. If you’re from out-of-state, a “jug-handle” is a right-lane ess-curve exit (veer right to clear the main road, then turn left onto the crossroad). The goal is to remove left-turn traffic from the main road onto a parallel “just to turn left from” road. The alternative, in a number of smaller suburban towns, is to overshoot one intersection and make three right-hand turns to go left – a make-shift cloverleaf, if you will.

The exit driveway from our local BJ’s accepts a tributary exit driveway from a small strip-mall, then merges into a two-lane jug-handle/right-branching ess-turn to go left onto the eastbound main road, across onto the side road, or right onto the westbound main road. The intersection is controlled at several points by traffic lights. Outbound from BJ’s, etc., the light is positioned after the right-turn splits off. Road markings direct the right lane to to straight (across the main road – US 22, for those who really care) and for the left lane to go into the eventual-eastbound asymptotic entry loop of the intersection, merging with the eastbound traffic from the side road before entering US 22.

(Note: while there is no physical barrier to entering US 22 without going through the second jug-handle, nor is there a sign stating it is illegal, it usually causes the driver to be stuck at a red light, with his tail sticking out into oncoming traffic.)

The light is red as we approach this control point, in the right lane, poised to cross US 22. We stop. No car is in the left lane; two cars are in front of us in the right lane. Soon after, a car pulls into the left lane, without a directional signal. The car in front of us (in the right lane turns on its left directional. The light turns green. As the first car in the right lane starts to move out, the car in the left lane turns on its right directional. What the $@#$*%!&!?!?!?!?! Second car in the right lane moves out, car in the left lane tries to move out, stops. Car in the right lane (still signalling left) moves out, eventually left-turning directly onto US 22. We hurry across US 22 to avoid being creamed by the Sunday Driver in the left lane, trying to go right into the westbound lanes of US 22.

New Jersey, The Jug-Handle State. I think I need a jug of something

The Intersection

“Driving for Danger” is a very old and somewhat sacred tradition in the hills of New Jersey

Aww… you’re making me miss my home state!