Letter to the Editor: What's Gloucester Twp. Got Against Route 42 Westbound?

A Laurel Springs man laments the difficulty he has getting to Philadelphia and points west via Route 42.

Dear Editor:

I moved to Gloucester Township in 2011 in part for the location and its accessibility to so many places. But I still have roots and conduct business in my former area of Marlton, Voorhees and Cherry Hill, which means I drive Route 295 North regularly.  

Why is it so easy to get onto Route 42 eastbound, but getting on 42 westbound to go to Philly or to get to Routes 130/295 seems to require the patience of Job or an illegal act?  

I live near the municipal complex, so Coles Road is my main access to 42.  What planner designed the ridiculous one-way stretch next to Skeeter's, requiring a left turn onto Tice Avenue and then a right onto Erial Road to wait for a light to change at a busy three-way intersection? When traffic at the light is backed up to the Walgreens entrance, it’s a tough right turn to make and chances are you’ll have to wait an additional light cycle simply to get on the Pike northbound. A year after moving here, I still haven’t figured out what’s so bad about driving straight out to the Black Horse Pike without negotiating this stupid patch of grass. I see an unused stretch of “shoulder” alongside the pub. 

Recently, I thought I’d avoid this stupid intersection by taking Chews Landing Road down to Somerdale Road, making a left onto Old Black Horse Pike, then coming out on the Pike near Anchor Pool, only to discover it’s illegal to make a left turn from the Pike onto 42 West. The ramp on isn’t curved noticeably to accept cars traveling northbound down 168 in the other direction. So what gives? Is traffic in that spot so heavy the township doesn’t think drivers can safely make a left turn onto the ramp? Newsflash: It isn’t. I was forced to drive up a little further and make—you guessed it—a left turn, into the self-storage complex, in order to turn around. Of course, there’s a "No U-Turn" sign there, but I made a K-turn instead so as not to violate the warning.

So if I want to go east on 42, I simply make a left turn off Coles Road onto the on ramp. If for some crazy reason I’d like to head toward Philly or the region’s major non-toll North-South highway, I have to either negotiate around a nonsensical one-way street and useless island of grass, or make an illegal left turn. What, exactly, does the township have against Route 42 westbound?

Gary Frisch
Laurel Springs

Paul J. DiBartolo May 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Have you gotten off of Route 42 at the new Blackwood/CCC exit yet? Make sure you have your GPS on so you don't get lost. And whose bright idea was it to use circles? After New Jersey spent millions to get rid of South Jersey's circles, we built them in Gloucester Township. And the latest rumor is the thinking that the Blackwood-Clementon Road Business Redevelopment Plan is considering putting circles on B-C Road to slow down traffic and encourage shopping B-C's businesses. How, may I ask, did every other town in New Jersey make their business areas negotiable without traffic circles? I try to avoid B-C Road as much as I can now...put in traffic circles and you can be assured I will stay away from that nightmare. Maybe a circle would help make the Blenheim intersection easier to negotiate.
Big Daddy 1 May 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM
If you are traveling north on Coles from the Black Horse Pike, you have to stop so that all those cars trying to get to the Black Horse Pike can make that left to get to Erial (to get to the BHP), That intersection has been like that for decades for reasons unknown. With more sophisticated traffic lights, maybe we should change it into something simple. And please avoid the temptation of putting up more cameras.
Paul J. DiBartolo May 27, 2012 at 01:46 PM
We can build an overpass there to alleviate the traffic and pay our 'most highly favored' engineering firm to figure out the details...after all the required campaign donations have been made, of course.
25+ year resident & former Pennsylvanian May 27, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Being new to the area, perhaps you would like to understand that Rte 42 goes North and South - not East and West (look at a map), Furthermore, you might find that the entrance onto NB 42 from Lakeland Road is more to your liking. As for that strange intersection at Skeeter's Pub, it use to be the way you want it and the traffic and accidents were worse than it is now. As for circles, I couldn't agree with you more. However, the old joke may be still appropriate: "Circles are IQ tests for Pennsylvanians."
Tom Greeno May 27, 2012 at 02:15 PM
I never understood all those 'No left turn/all turns in right lane' signs in this state. We took the drivers test, bought and insured our cars. If we cant negotiate a left turn and the risks involved we shouldnt be on the road. Its like the state doesnt trust our judgment.
Paul J. DiBartolo May 27, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The State is your Daddy. You will comply or you will be punished. You will not pass 'Go' but you WILL collect food stamps and a subsidy check. Get in line!
Paul J. DiBartolo May 27, 2012 at 05:46 PM
OK, I grew up in Blackwood Estates and have moved back and lived here for the past 17 years, but I have no idea what you are talking about with respect to a Lakeland Road entrance to Rte. 42. Is that a misspelling, you surely can't mean Lower Landing Road, can you?
Tom Catz May 28, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Yes, I realized after submitting this letter that 42 is marked North and South, but one way goes toward Philly (west) and the other toward AC (east) so for all practical purposes I think of it as West and East.
Ric May 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Paulie, you poor fellow, thinking NJ built a circle just to irritate you! Do not feel that way. NJ installed a traffic circle on Cinnaminson Avenue in Cinnaminson and is threatening to install a second circle on Riverton Road.
Paul J. DiBartolo May 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Ricky...grow up:-) Really, then people will start to take you seriously. I thought of responding to you in kind, Ricky, but then I thought better of it and decided not to waste my time.
Ric May 29, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Whatever you say, Jack,
Paul J. DiBartolo May 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM
That's funny, I use my name and picture and you're calling me Jack. Again, I'll pass on further encouraging you.


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