South Brunswick officials raised concerns at last week's Township Council meeting about traffic backup caused by an in West Windsor.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation program seeks to reduce congestion along the Route 1 northbound corridor in the area of Washington Road and Harrison Street where three lanes are typically clogged with motorists waiting to make left turns during peak travel periods.
The 12-week program, which began on Aug. 4, restricts left turns and U-turns on Route 1 at Washington Road and Harrison Street. However, the program has caused issues for South Brunswick commuters.
"We've heard many complaints already that it now takes 45 minutes just to go three or four miles to get to Harrison Street," said Mayor Frank Gambatese.
An NJDOT spokesman said the agency collected traffic data at numerous locations in Princeton Township, Princeton Borough, West Windsor and Plainsboro before the trial began and would continue to do so to determine the impact of the restrictions. At the end of the trial, the DOT plans to meet with the various stakeholders to see if the restrictions have reduced Route 1 congestion and to "discuss the extent of any secondary impacts on local streets and roads."
While Gambatese reported many residents were upset with the impact on South Brunswick, Councilman Charles Carley said he experienced a much easier time traveling on the roadway with little congestion due to the program.
"I'm just glad (the state) is looking at things on the Route 1 corridor," he said.
If the trial is deemed a success by the DOT, the turns will not be restored and temporary barriers will be replaced with permanent barriers as quickly as possible. If the trial is deemed unsuccessful, the temporary restrictions will be removed and all existing traffic movements will be restored.
Combined with an ongoing many township residents have been caught in a continuous Route 1 traffic nightmare.
"Our residents have really taken it on the chin with Route 1 and the traffic flow," Gambatese said.
Do you think the NJDOT trial program on Route 1 has made traffic problems worse? Tell us in the comments.
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