February 21, 2011
If you haven’t been here to the great state of New Jersey before you may not know this, but there are no left turns allowed in New Jersey. How do you drive here you ask? The answer is simple: Jug handles. That’s right, Jug handles. If you are not familiar with the “Jug handle” it is very similar to an exit ramp on a thruway. You simply signal to the right, and follow the one lane road around in a 1/2 circle until you come out perpendicular to where you started, hence allowing you to go left, without making a left.
The tricky part to this whole thing is figuring out where the jug handles will be located. Sometimes they are just prior to where you would normally want to move to that famed left lane and put your signal on. Other times they are just past where you would want to turn causing you to make a clockwise semi circle vs the traditional counter-clockwise to end up back on the road you just crossed over to go right. Yet still, dependent on population you may not be able to find a jug handle at all until the next intersection, where at certain instances you can even end up having to make consecutive jug handles to to head back to where your original left was perhaps a 1/2 mile back.
It sounds confusing right? Try to navigate it. Still, there is still one more very rare traffic oddity I have not told you about. This conundrum I am speaking about it actually a left turn. You may have heard the myth, but it is still true that occasionally you can make a left turn. This can actually end up becoming the biggest pain in the a$$ for you out of any of the options because you inevitably assume you need to catch a jug handle located to the right. With good logic you move to that direction, only to fly through the intersection, watching the people who know better, pleasantly make their well orchestrated left turns while you curse and yell vulgarity at your steering wheel heading straight to the next interesting point where congestion and slow speeds will be almost a guarantee.
I had to laugh the other day. I listened to someone giving an out of state driver directions to a roller skating rink. If the directions weren’t confusing enough, the gentleman tells the woman, “You will want to make a left, but you won’t be able to, so go right to go left.” The woman slowly says, “oookkkk…?” and I simply begin to laugh because I feel her pain.
Jersey should probably throw away their welcome signs at the state border crossings and install warning signs with LED diagrams. The sad part is, they tell me it only gets worse in the summer time.
-The Guy Living in Jersey