Next Week! NJ DOT Meetings on Route 1 Jughandle Closures

19 Jan

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has announced two upcoming public meetings to discuss their eight-week pilot project to restrict left turns and U-turns on Route 1 at Washington Road and Harrison Street.

The meetings to discuss the pilot project will be:

  • Tuesday, January 24, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the West Windsor Municipal Building (map here)
  • Wednesday, January 25, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at the Princeton Borough Municipal Building (map here)

The pilot project is an attempt to reduce congestion along the stretch of Route 1 where the three right lanes of traffic become crowded with drivers lining up to make left turns, particularly during peak travel periods.

The plan includes elimination of the jughandle intersections at Harrison Street and Washington Road into Princeton, leaving the Alexander Road overpass as the main road for commuters traveling north on Route 1 to travel into Princeton. The hope is that some traffic will use the Alexander Road overpass and others will continue north on Route 1 to Scudder’s Mill Road, where they would take the jughandle and loop back to Harrison Street or Washington Road and into Princeton. Motorists who need to cross Route 1 at Washington Road and Harrison Street would still be able to travel through the intersection; only the jughandle access points from Route 1 will be blocked.

Closing access to two of the major arteries into Princeton from Route 1 north has been met with some concern from Princeton residents and officials who see an already congested rush-hour commute potentially becoming even worse as commuters are routed along an already busy Alexander Road. NJDOT intends to use this trial period to evaluate these potential impacts to local roads could be, and those evaluations will help determine if the restrictions become permanent or are modified. NJDOT will collect traffic volume and trip-time data at numerous locations in Princeton Township, Princeton Borough, West Windsor and Plainsboro before and during the trial period.

We’d all like to see less congestion reduced on Route 1, but is this the best way to do it? And if not, what other ideas do you have? On the Move readers, what do you think about this plan? We’d like to hear from you. And so would NJDOT — if you can, please attend one of these public meetings next week so your voice can be heard on this important proposal.

Below is NJDOT’s full press release:

For Immediate Release:                                                                     Contact:   Joe Dee or Tim Greeley

January 19, 2012                                                                                  609-530-4280


Public meetings scheduled to discuss plan
to ease Route 1 congestion in West Windsor
Left and U-turn restrictions planned for Washington Road and Harrison Street

(Trenton) – The New Jersey Department of Transportation today announced a pair of public meetings to discuss a pilot project to restrict left turns  and U-turns on Route 1 at Washington Road and Harrison Street in West Windsor.

NJDOT is seeking to reduce congestion along the Route 1 northbound corridor in the vicinity of Washington Road and Harrison Street where the rightmost of three lanes becomes crowded with motorists queueing to make left turns, particularly during peak travel periods.

The importance of improved traffic flow is heightened by the scheduled spring opening of the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro on Route 1 just north of Harrison Street.

Meetings to discuss an eight-week pilot program are scheduled for:

  • 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, January 24 at the West Windsor municipal building
  • 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 25 at the Princeton Borough municipal building

As the trial period progresses, NJDOT will arrange to meet with stakeholders to evaluate whether the restrictions have proven to be effective in reducing Route 1 congestion and to evaluate the extent of any  secondary impacts on local streets and roads.  Those discussions will help determine whether the restrictions are made permanent, are modified or if the current turn options are restored.

NJDOT will collect traffic volume and trip-time data at numerous locations in Princeton Township, Princeton Borough, West Windsor and Plainsboro prior to and during the trial period to evaluate the impacts of the restrictions.

Temporary construction barrels and other measures will be used to implement the restrictions in an inexpensive manner.  Should the trial prove successful,  appropriate permanent changes will be designed and installed at the intersections.  If the trial is unsuccessful, the temporary restrictions will be removed to restore all existing traffic movements.

Pilot details

Route 1 northbound and southbound motorists will be prevented from making left turns and U-turns at the Washington Road signalized intersection.

  • Route 1 northbound motorists seeking to make a left onto Washington Road heading into Princeton can use the ramp to Alexander Road westbound.
  • Route 1 northbound motorists seeking to make a U-turn can use the ramp to Alexander westbound and then take the ramp to Route 1 southbound.
  • Route 1 southbound motorists seeking to turn left onto Washington Road or seeking to make a U-turn can use the ramp to Alexander Road eastbound and then proceed to Route 1 northbound.

Route 1 northbound motorists will be prevented from making left or U-turns at the Harrison Street signalized intersection.

  • Motorists can proceed north along Route 1 to the Scudders Mill road interchange and take the U-turn ramp to Route 1 southbound and make a right turn at Harrison Street or continue south on Route 1.

NJDOT will deploy Dynamic Message Signs and static signage notifying motorists of the restrictions and alternate routes well in advance of the start of the pilot project.

 

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One Response to “Next Week! NJ DOT Meetings on Route 1 Jughandle Closures”

  1. Ginger Snaps Lewis January 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    The congestion on Route 1 at rush-hour is ridiculous but making people go further out of their way to do u-turns or to get on narrow 2 lane streets doesn’t seem like an improvement. Alexander has that tiny little bridge that 2 cars can barely pass on. And, when I ride my bike home down Alexander, I am always moving faster than the cars. I can’t imagine the mess it would become.

    There has to be a better way!

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