Residents from West Windsor and Princeton have started an online petition calling for an end to the Route 1 jughandle trail.
In early August the New Jersey Department of Transportation closed the jughandles at Washington Road and Harrison Street in an attempt to improve the traffic flow on Route 1. Drivers who wish to cut across Route 1 to go to Princeton must either exit on Alexander Road or Scudders Mill Road.
Residents who live in neighborhoods along Route 571 in West Windsor say motorists continue to make u-turns on the road despite warnings by police and threats that they will receive extra points on their drivers licenses. People who live in Princeton or commute to Princeton say their commuting times have doubled or tripled because of the extra traffic on Alexander Road.
“The NJDOT implemented the jughandle closures as a pilot program and the general consensus is that the pilot program has failed,” reads the online petition. “If in conjunction with the jug-handle closures, three other projects are completed it will be a more rational solution. Closing the jughandles in itself does not and will not solve the problem inherent to the Washington Rd/Route 1 area.”
The three projects the petition says should be completed first:
1. A Harrison Street overpass
2. A Vaughn Drive connector in Princeton Junction
3. The widening of the Alexander Road Bridge over the Stony Brook Canal
“Implementing jughandle closures without coordinating other solutions has greatly diminished the quality of life for the residents of Penn’s Neck, increased travel time and cost for anyone needing to make a left turn to exit Route 1 at Washington Rd and Harrison St, forces drivers to cross four lanes of traffic and a solid white line to make a simple u-turn at Alexander Road, putting them in danger, and prevented emergency vehicles from being able to safely navigate the road way, reads the petition. “(The trial has) increased the number of accidents and incidents for the entire area and has not substantially increased the flow of traffic on Route 1 as intended.”