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Jughandle Ban Clears New Jersey Senate Committee

A jughandle on Route 23 in Wayne, N.J. (credit: Google Maps)

A jughandle on Route 23 in Wayne, N.J. (credit: Google Maps)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) - They are as New Jersey as diners and Bruce Springsteen, but one Garden State lawmaker wants to see the end of jughandles.

St. Sen. James Holzapfel of Ocean County is behind a bill that would ban construction of any new ones. It has already made it out of committee and is headed for the full Senate.

He thinks it’s time to do away with the whole turn right to turn left concept.

“I think that they’ve probably reached where we are with traffic circles, which are slowly but surely being eliminated,” Holzapfel told WCBS 880′s Steve Scott. “Their time has come.”

Holzapfel noted that his bill will not affect the already existing jughandles.

“We can’t afford to go back and retrofit all of those,” he said.

What is it about jughandles that he doesn’t like?

“Well, what’s happened, I think, as with the circles, it’s the volume of traffic has gotten to a point where to take the same vehicle, as you know, and pass it through that same intersection twice is the way that the jughandle basically operates and what you find today is because of the volume of traffic, the often times the jughandles are full of cars. People who can’t get into the handle sometimes end up causing gridlock at the intersection. They think they can get across and make it but they don’t fit,” Holzapfel said.

New Jersey has hundreds of jughandles that provide indirect left turns. The state doesn’t know exactly how many or when the first one was built.

The state Transportation Department says jughandles can be helpful, preventing turning vehicles from backing up on main roadways and slowing traffic.

Holzapfel has been trying since 2003 to get a ban considered.

Are you in favor of banning new jughandles? Sound off below.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)