Driving NJ’s Driscoll Bridge would be safer if they fixed this
With 15 travel lanes and 6 shoulder lanes, the Driscoll Bridge is the widest motor vehicle bridge in the entire world. It also ranks among one of the world's busiest.
Many who use the Raritan River Parkway crossing may take it for granted, but for the uninitiated, crossing the bridge and getting to their correct destination may be intimidating.
Speeding drivers inching up on you on both sides, off-ramps dumping traffic from other highways, and the bridge literally splitting the Parkway from U.S. Route 9, New Jersey Route 440, as well as I-287.
When you consider the number of things that could go wrong on the bridge, what I am about to point out is not going to solve everything, but it would make it safer for some travelers.
As you head toward the Driscoll Bridge northbound, you'll see these signs: The sign on the left side of the zipper lane tells all drivers looking to remain on the northbound Parkway or get off the exit for the New Jersey Turnpike to remain in the left lanes. To the right you see signs for Route 9, Route 440, and I-287.
Easy enough, right?
Fast forward a quarter-mile. Suddenly the Parkway comes back into play. Anyone who remains to the left to exit at one of the aforementioned routes, especially those who are staying in the lane closest to the zipper for Route 9, now has to shift one lane to the right to avoid remaining on the Parkway.
It certainly fooled this car.
You do have some time to make the adjustment before it's too late, but this is a bridge that sees a lot of volume with people changing lanes all over the place as it is.
Correcting these signs or developing a slightly clearer traffic pattern could benefit drivers in the long run. This isn't just any ol' lane split we're talking about.
Exit 127 (US-9, NJ-440, I-287) is a popular route for NYC commuters, families of New York transplants, beachgoers returning home, and anyone looking to connect to the parts of Central and North Jersey I-287 leads to.
With this many people going so many directions sharing one bridge, the more confident we can make drivers that they are going the right way can lead to a safer driving experience for all.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.