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Your Thoughts On The New Airport Circle?

Airport NAFEC Circle
Photo courtesy TownSquare Media's Tom McNally

Today is the first full day we’ve had to comprehend, figure out, navigate, and talk to ourselves about the redesigned Airport/NAFEC traffic circle in Egg Harbor Township and a lot of people don’t seem to care for the new traffic pattern.

Now, granted, that traffic circle has been there for decades and anything involving change does take some time to sink-in. However, there seems to be a common comment among a lot of people: we’d rather have the traffic circle the way it was, without the new red lights.

Here in New Jersey, we take pride in things that are uniquely New Jersey, traffic circles being one of them. I know roundabouts aren’t only a Jersey thing, but they do identify our state. Traffic circles, at least on paper, allow traffic to flow freely (relatively speaking) through an intersection, without having to stop for yet another red light staring you in the face. Sarcastically speaking, I’ve often thought that a New Jersey driving test should be having to go around a traffic circle at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon while eating a cheeseburger in one hand and talking on a cell phone in the other — if you can do that, parallel parking is a breeze.

Normally, a redesigned traffic circle includes overpasses or a simplified traffic pattern that completely removes the circle. The new Airport/NAFEC circle design didn’t go that route — the circle is still in place, but now it’s cut in half with Delilah Road going straight across — plus two new red lights, crosswalks (crosswalks in a traffic circle? really?), bike lanes, and more.

Maybe we don’t like it because we don’t know what to call it. Technically, it’s a “circle” but traffic circles aren’t cut in half. It’s not a semi circle, because the whole thing is still there. We’ll probably call it a “circle” for the next 30 years; the Cardiff Circle has been gone for a number of years now – that one was replaced with multiple red lights and being able to see Washington Avenue without really being able to get to it.

So, I guess we need to let the new design sink in (you’ll have plenty of time to do so while sitting at the red lights)… while you’re there, try to think of a new name of the “large circular intersection with crosswalks and bike lanes by Atlantic City International Airport” – if you think of anything good, please post it here.

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