Nice Jug(handle)s

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm scared of driving. Maybe I've told you this before.

I've definitely told you this before.

Last summer, I wrote about all the things that freaked me out about driving in New England. And then? I moved to New Jersey.

Guys, this place is nuts. On the road, perfectly nice citizens become crazed, angry maniacs. Let's discuss. 

The issue here is jughandles. Sounds like fat lovehandles, right? Wrong.

Basically, you can't turn left in New Jersey. The whole state appears to have been laid out by Derek Zoolander. Want to turn left? You have to turn right first, then loop around to the other side of the street, which is presumably a less busy road than the one you wanted to turn left onto, & there you can either go straight (which is, essentially, the lefthand turn you needed to make) or turn left, which is the equivalent of a U-Turn. This also means that if you miss a turn, you have to go down to the next jughandle & drive allll the way back. Here, someone drew you an example!

This guy explains them way better than I ever could. To summarize, though, jughandles were apparently created to ease the flow of traffic in New Jersey, but they mean, essentially, that you have to sometimes almost literally go the extra mile to get wherever you're going.

Furthermore, as that other dude correctly notes, GPS is wholly useless here. My British-voiced Garmin, affectionately named Daniel, has no idea what to do here. No idea. He's constantly recalculating, telling me about it in that judgy robotic UK accent, like I'm doing something wrong when he's supposed to be telling me where to go. "Turn left" doesn't help here, Daniel! And don't even get me started on this shitty new iPhone map, which the other day told me the closest post office was a four-hour drive away.

There are other things that are weird about driving in New Jersey. Like an outrageous number of concrete highway dividers, & yellow lights that last forever, & $12 highway tolls. But now I'm too worked up about jughandles to even tell you about them.

What I wouldn't give for a good, old, New England-style traffic circle right about now.

Welcome to the Garden State. Shut up & drive.

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