Apr 02

Turning Right to Turn Left: Oh, Jughandles

Contributed by Rochelle McSam

Although I’ve lived in NJ for the last ten years, as a native New Yorker there’s one thing about the lovely Garden State that can still send me into a series of fits…. Jug Handles! If you’re a first year student and haven’t come across one yet, give it some time. A jug handle is a right turn ramp that allows you to drive in a semi-circle so that you’re positioned on the street where you initially wanted to make a left turn.

Common scenario: You need to turn left at the intersection, but no left turns are allowed and by the time you’ve realized it, it’s too late to get into the right lane to catch the exit for the jug handle.

The jug handle is usually placed before the intersection but on occasion it’s after. Confusing right? Here are some tips that I found helpful in navigating my way around town:

  • Stay alert and watch for signs. You may need to make a left on Green Street, but there will be a sign on your right indicating the jug handle exit for Green Street.
  • Stay in your middle lane and drive at the speed limit. This may give you the extra time needed to get in the correct lane.
  • Can you spot a left lane turning signal ahead? If you’re approaching a busy intersection and you can’t spot a turning signal, most likely there’s a jug handle involved.

One last tip- Drive safely. There’s certainly not a shortage of police officers in Madison or the surrounding towns!


Webmaster’s note: for a good video on what these look like, click here for a video.

Or if the video makes you a little motion sick… click here for an article with pictures instead.

(Thanks to Susan Goodman for help finding these links!)