Gusciora: End Route 1 Jughandle Pilot

The project is causing a rise in illegal U-Turns and K-Turns, loss of business sales and increased safety concerns, Assemblyman says


NJ District 16 Assemblyman Reed Gusciora today called for the end of the Route 1 pilot program at Washington Road and Harrison Street in West Windsor, saying the project intended to fix traffic congestion woes has generated even further problems by increasing illegal U-Turns and K-Turns in the Penns Neck neighborhood.

Both the Getty station at the corner of Washington Road and Route 1 and Sunoco station at the corner of Harrison Street and Route 1 have seen a decline in sales during the pilot program so far, he said.

"I certainly appreciate the difficulty of this task in addressing the congestion that has plagued the area for some time," Gusciora wrote in a letter to NJ DOT Commissioner James Simpson. "Notwithstanding, my main concern is the danger that this program is posing for the residents, and I must respectfully ask that you seriously consider the ramifications of this program and put a halt to the pilot’s existence."

Gusciora represented Princeton for many years in District 15 until Princeton moved into District 16 last year. 

Gusciora said numerous illegal U-Turns and K-Turns in the Penns Neck neighborhood mean an increased risk to the many pedestrians, cyclists, and children waiting for buses in the area.

“I understand DOT’s efforts to improve traffic, but it should not be at the expense of local residents,” Gusciora said. 

He instead supports building a tunnel underneath Washington Road to allow traffic on Route 1 to flow better.

“Since Washington Road is elevated, an underpass would properly alleviate traffic and allow vehicles to proceed below Washington Road from the direction of Harrison”, Gusciora said. “In the long run, it is a plan that will bring jobs and alleviate traffic congestion in the area.”  

A spokesperson for NJ DOT was not immediately available.

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owen September 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM
There are two obvious improvements that could be made to help reduce the Alexander Road nightmare, especially in the evening when the trains come in: 1)Re-jigger the light at University Place (Wawa)...the problem, as I've observed it, is endless button-initiated pedestrian crossings which stop all vehicular traffic in all directions for half a minute every time that button is pushed. Solution: eliminate the pedestrian crosswalk on the south (wawa) side and force pedestrians to cross on the north side of that intersection. That would allow left turns from University onto Alexander and and right turns from Alexander onto University during protected pedestrian crossings; The "T" insection of Alexander street with Mercer street at Trinity Church. Cheapest would be a three way stop sign. I doubt there's room for a small circle like those on Cleveland Lane at Library and Lafayette. And of course a traffic light with left turn lanes southbound on Mercer and northbound on Alexander would be an ultimate solution. Sadly, extending Alexander to Stockton is not possible because of the Trinity Church memorial garden/cemetary which is protected because of the human remains buried there. Three way stop so a no brainer, it seems to me. And one more thing: doesn't the 6-month closure of Quaker road make the current dot test of impact on Princeton invalid?
Mike September 20, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Great ideas, I also noticed the pedestrian light today was a slew of endless students causing the light to trip for 30 seconds, who needs that much time to cross a road. This whole jug handle thing is a disaster its now taking me 65 minutes to come into Princeton and I am only going 9 miles. Its only going to get worse, its time for more political push to end this nightmare.
Simon September 21, 2012 at 05:07 AM
Reed: Unless I have been misinformed, you don't represent Princeton anymore. The real answer is to eliminate ALL traffic lights on Route 1 but no one, including you, has ever listened to that idea during the 30 years that I have lived here. They are not only a serious safety hazard, but they are a hindrance to the economic development of this entire area. Hello, Reed!
Simon September 21, 2012 at 05:11 AM
But don't eliminate the diagonal parking spaces in front of Wawa, which are the cause of all of the trouble, including all of the acccidents. Don't even think about it.
Carl E. Peters September 24, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I believe that it was Elmer Bergman.


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