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Township Concerned About Route 1 Trial Program

Residents complaining about traffic backup from restricted left turns and U-turns on Route 1 at Washington Road and Harrison Street in West Windsor.

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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Inky August 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I have found the traffic to move quite smoothly in both directions! I'm not sure who is having 45 minute delays into South Brunswick, but it's been taking me 15 minutes at 5.20pm on a Friday to get from Quakerbridge to Forrestal (my turn off point). Personally, I think they should eliminate Fisher Place altogether, those coming from Sarnoff, can exit at Harrison Street.
Bev Caruso August 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I wish they would have left it alone as I work at Sarnoff.... Leaving work without the assistance of the traffic light at our Harrison Street exit is a real challenge and also dangerous with the way folks fly on Rte 1. Guess not many know they covered up the light on our side. I can leave work anywhere from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and traffic is heavy especially near One Independence Way where motories continue to fly down the shoulder even though they know that lane ends. I've sat through several iights while they merge in or should I say cut me off. Coming into work from Rte 1 South I am forced to take the Fisher Place judgehandle to get back onto Rte1 and come in through the Harrison Street (Sarnoff only) entrance. The only other choices I have coming into work are via Rte 27 or 572 (Princeton Hightstown Rd) and with those choices I sit in traffic or incounter many traffic lights.. I can only imagine this nightmare once the school buses return. DOT really does need to revisit this little project. .
steve August 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Congrats to the forward thinking people @ the DOT... I just makes sense .The Idea to stop hundreds of motorists from moving down the hyway just to let a handfull make turns just does not work anymore .
David Luck August 20, 2012 at 03:36 PM
For my commute, the traffice through the Princeton area is moving more smoothly than ever. What is more evident than ever is the back-up when you hit South Brunswick! Smooth sailing North through Princeton until you hit the back-up as Route 1 narrows from 3 to 2 lanes through South Brunswick. The South Brunswick Council should show more concern over solving their local issues and not worry about their neighbors.
Alice Artzt August 20, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Rt 1 is an even greater mess now than the mess it already was before, with the only way to get into Princeton from Rt 1 North being Alexander Rd. I just don't even TRY to get through Rt 1 above that point. And and if I'm going into NY, I avoid Rt 1 as long as possible by taking side roads.
Cathleen DiBenedetto August 20, 2012 at 06:03 PM
David Luck the South Brunswick Council has been trying to get RT 1 fixed in South Brunswick for years!! It's the State and the DOT who have done nothing for South Brunswick..
Bev Caruso August 20, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I couldn't agree more! I understand change need to be made to Rte1but I don't think this is the way to go. There are more than a handful of folks who either turn onto Rte1 or go across Rte1. Taking back roads or side roads may work for a time, but once the school buses are out in force there will be additional delays and back-up's.
Daniel August 21, 2012 at 02:18 AM
US 1 needs to be widened from 2 to 3 lanes in each direction in South Brunswick.
catherine August 23, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Travelling on Route 1 past the Princeton area today, I have to say this is the worst idea that I have ever heard of. It really makes no sense to me to alleviate turns and traffic in one area, only to create a chaotic mess somewhere else down the road...So tell me and others how if we travel on Route 1 North are we supposed to get into Princeton? Oh I see, drive a few more unnecessary miles for a turn and create a tie-up and aggravation somewhere else. Officials please, if it's not broken, don't fix it!!!
South Brunswick Town Crier August 26, 2012 at 07:44 PM
HEADLINE - Democrat Councilman Admits Christie Has Done More To Ease Congestion On Rt 1 Than Any Democrat Administration "I'm just glad (the state) is looking at things on the Route 1 corridor," Councilman Charles Carley

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