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A jughandle intersection (Type A in New Jersey) where turning traffic is diverted away from the main intersection to a slip road
A typical jughandle setup, with one standard jughandle (below) and one reverse jughandle (above), on New Jersey Route 35 in Hazlet, New Jersey, United States. 40°25′16″N 74°11′06″W / 40.420996°N 74.185092°W / 40.420996; -74.185092

A jughandle is a type of ramp or slip road that changes the way traffic turns left at an at-grade intersection (in a country where traffic drives on the right). Instead of a standard left turn being made from the left lane, left-turning traffic uses a ramp on the right side of the road. In a standard forward jughandle or near-side jughandle, the ramp leaves before the intersection, and left-turning traffic turns left off of it rather than the through road; right turns are also made using the jughandle. In a reverse jughandle or far-side jughandle, the ramp leaves after the intersection, and left-turning traffic loops around to the right and merges with the crossroad before the intersection.

The jughandle is also known as a Jersey left due to its high prevalence within the U.S. state of New Jersey (though this term is also locally used for an abrupt left at the beginning of a green light cycle).[1] The New Jersey Department of Transportation defines three types of jughandles. "Type A" is the standard forward jughandle. "Type B" is a variant with no cross-street intersected by the jughandle; it curves 90 degrees left to meet the main street, and is either used at a "T" intersection or for a U-turn only. "Type C" is the standard reverse jughandle.[2]


A 1956 article in the Asbury Park Press cited a suggestion by the state's top highway planner to add a "jug-handle" on Route 35 to facilitate the flow of traffic.[3] One of the earliest mentions of jughandles in The New York Times is on June 14, 1959, referring to jughandles having been built in New Jersey on U.S. Route 46 in Montville, U.S. Route 22 between North Plainfield and Bound Brook, and Route 35 at Monmouth Park Racetrack, with the article citing the addition of "jug-handle exits" as a way to reduce accidents.[4] By the beginning of 1960, New Jersey had 160 jughandles, most if not all standard before-intersection jughandles. The 160th one was on U.S. Route 1 between New Brunswick and Trenton.[5] Jughandles had been introduced in the 1940s as a way to keep turning vehicles away from the flow of traffic on main roads, but by 2013 a bill to ban the jughandle had made it to the floor of the New Jersey Senate.[6]

Examples of signage at jughandles on New Jersey state highways.


Diagram of a jughandle intersection. All turning traffic exits to the right, before entering the cross road turning either to the left or right.


In Perth, Western Australia


In Nanaimo, British Columbia:

In Markham, Ontario:

In Toronto, Ontario:

In Chambly, Quebec:


On road 110 there are multiple jughandles between Lohja and Salo.

60°22′32″N 23°43′08″E / 60.375449°N 23.718998°E / 60.375449; 23.718998

There is also a one on European route E63 near Orivesi.


In Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia:


In Tampines:

United Kingdom

In England:

In Northern Ireland:

United States

While jughandles are largely associated with New Jersey,[7][8][9] the states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Vermont also use jughandles at several intersections. Jughandles are possible in other locations as they are a valid type of intersection control to consider for intersection design.


Signage for a jughandle along Pennsylvania Route 309 in Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

On New Jersey State Highways and Pennsylvania State Highways, a white sign is placed before a jughandle or at the beginning of a stretch of jughandles saying "All turns from right lane", or a similar message. Each jughandle is marked with a white sign below the standard green sign, saying "All turns", or "U and left turns" in the case of a reverse jughandle.

On locally maintained roads, and in other states, jughandle signage can appear to be haphazard and confusing to out of state drivers.




  1. ^ Ben Zimmer (2013-04-07). "Boston driving: So bad it needs its own lingo? / Terrible road maneuvers, from the Boston left to the California roll". Boston Globe.
  2. ^ "NJ DOT Roadway Design Manual" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  3. ^ "State Promises Better Road Signs at Shore", Asbury Park Press, March 10, 1956. Accessed February 19, 2023, via "Otto Fritzsche, chief highway planner, said it might be best at Shore to place a 'jug-handle' approach there to facilitate movement of southbound traffic from Route 35 to Sunset Avenue."
  4. ^ Wright, George Cable. "New Jersey Roads; $200,000,000 Improvement Program Is Being Carried Out In State", The New York Times, June 14, 1959. Accessed February 19, 2023. "Also, a fourteen-mile stretch of U. S. 22 between North Plainfield and Bound Brook has been resurfaced, provided with a concrete center barrier and equipped with jug-handle exits to eliminate a former major cause of accidents in that vicinity."
  5. ^ Ingraham, Joseph C. "Driver Trying to Turn Left Isn't Balked by Lane of Cars; Economical Device Is Used at 160 Places on Jersey Roads",The New York Times, January 2, 1960. Accessed February 19, 2023.
  6. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt. "Bill to Squelch Convoluted Left Turns Gains in New Jersey Senate", The New York Times, February 4, 2013. Accessed February 19, 2023. "After more than a half-century, though, the jughandle — so intertwined with the Garden State that it is also called a “Jersey left” — faces a threat. On Monday, a proposal to ban future jughandles cleared the State Senate’s transportation committee, allowing for a full vote and prompting a zealous debate over the state’s signature driving quirk.... Officials said construction of the state’s hundreds of jughandles dated to the 1940s and grew as part of an effort to keep traffic clusters off main drags."
  7. ^ "How We Drive, the Blog of Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic » Blog Archive » On the Origins of the Jersey Jughandle". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  8. ^ "New Jersey Jughandle Bill Seeks End of Left-Turn Oddity". Bloomberg.
  9. ^ "End of the 'Jersey Left?' Ban on future jughandles discussed today". 4 February 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Traffic Performance of Three Typical Designs of New Jersey Jughandle Intersections - FHWA-HRT-07-032". Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  11. ^ a b c Tarko, Andrew P. (December 2008). Safety and Operational Impacts of Alternative Intersections (Thesis). Retrieved March 6, 2024.