New Jersey/Special roads/Main

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Special Road Guidelines

The following special roads are managed slightly uniquely in some states and territories.


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Jughandles are a special type of exit used to make left turns or U-turns. They promote overall traffic flow and often improve safety.


New Jersey is especially known for using jughandles - some people call them a "New Jersey Left," and even engineering societies call them NJJI, for New Jersey Jughandle Interchange.

Jughandles typically occur on busy roadways where left turns or U-turns would be slow, dangerous and/or disruptive to traffic. Rather than have a left turn lane at such an intersection, a right-side exit is used. The exit, in various configurations, allows the driver to come back to the same intersection, but perpendicular (crossing) the originally roadway. This typically creates a safer, faster intersection. Usually there is a traffic light at the intersection, though some jughandles do not have them.

Jughandles do not exist on freeways. Since freeways are controlled-access highways, you don't find cross-streets connecting to them at-grade. They exist on highways that are not fully controlled-access, and on particularly busy local streets that may not be highways at all. (Note that the terms highways and streets above reflects real-world road configuration, not the Waze segment type.)

There are 3 kind of Jughandles in New Jersey per the NJ-DOT. They are:

  • Type A - Forward:
    Type A jughandle with some non-standard features. Click to see full size.
    The exit is on the right hand side prior to the intersection, and can accommodate traffic turning either right and left to the cross street. The exit segment connects to the cross street away from the intersection. Left or U-turn maneuver requires taking the exit, making a left onto the cross street, approaching the intersection, and then turning left (effectively a U-turn from the original roadway) or continuing straight through (effectively a left from original roadway).
  • Type B - U-Turn: The exit is on the right side prior to the intersection, and loops directly into the intersection. Usually the intersection must be a T-intersection (aside from the jughandle), with a cross street only on the other side of the original roadway.
  • Type C - Reverse: The exit is on the right, but after the intersection. It loops "backwards" to the cross street, similar to type A but from the other side of the cross street. Can be used to complete a left turn (continue straight after exiting jughandle to cross street). Can also be used to complete a u-turn (turn left after reaching intersection on cross-street), though they may be difficult or illegal if there are multiple lanes of traffic on the cross street.
  • Pseudo-jughandles: Sometimes, the exit is directly onto a short normal street instead of a dedicated ramp. The street may function as a Type A jughandle, by connecting immediately to the cross street of the original roadway. NJ-DOT does not classify these as jughandles, though for the purpose of mapping, we may have to make naming and typing considerations that are similar to the mapping considerations of jughandles.

Editing guidance

Special consideration must be given to Waze's detour prevention feature when jughandles are used for U-turns. The text below notes some of these considerations. If you don't follow that guidance, Waze may not want to use the jughandle for a U-turn.
This section explains how to name jughandle segments, and what segment type to apply to them.
Some of the guidance below calls for following at-grade connector rules (AGCs), since many jughandles function exactly like AGCs. For the discussion below, here is a simplified set of AGC rules:
  • AGCs are unnamed, and Waze simply "inherits" the name of the next segment in the route that they connect to.
  • An AGC should have the same type as the cross road it leads to, or the type of the road it leads from if that type is "lower." AGCs should not be of type ramp.
  • If for some reason an AGC must have a special name in order to give more detailed instructions, then the type should be changed to ramp.

Name and segment-typing of jughandles does not depend on jughandle type. A, B, and C jughandles are set up similarly to each other in Waze. Instead, when determining the name and segment type of a jughandle, you will primarily examine the signage leading to the jughandle exit. You may find:

  1. Destination signage that only indicates the name of the cross street ("SIMPLE")
  2. Destination signage that is similar to a regular exit sign ("BGS" or "LGS"), listing one or more street/highway names or a city or landmark name ("STANDARD")
  3. No destination signage, but directional signage exists (e.g., U-Turn, Left turns). These are usually black lettered on a white background ("DIRECTIONAL")
  4. No signage ("UNSIGNED")

To properly set up the jughandle based on signage:

  1. For SIMPLE signed jughandles, you can typically use the AGC rules described above (unnamed, lower connection type). Waze will give the appropriate exit instruction, using the name of the cross street. Instructions will be usable even for U-turns, because we are using a series of exit/turn instructions with the name of the road at each maneuver; there is no instruction to make a U-turn, even though the effect is to create a U-turn. However, if there is any segment at the end of the jughandle which has a name that does not match the sign, the instructions may be confusing, and you may have to use exit-style naming (see STANDARD instructions immediately below). The Type A example diagram above shows a SIMPLE-signed jughandle. It is labeled Old Mill Road, the same name as the cross street. It would be a candidate for being unnamed, with a type of Primary Street (the same type as Old Mill Rd), except for the unusual feature of having a differently named segment, Low Rd, included in the end junction. For that reason, it will be treated as STANDARD instead of SIMPLE.
  2. For STANDARD signed jughandles, use normal exit naming guidance. The exit segment type will be ramp, to prevent Waze form displaying the complex road name, which will follow the signage closely. If there are extra colored signs (e.g., a brown "State Park" sign mounted adjacent to the exit name sign), you may add them to the end of the jughandle name, but only if they provide a destination. Do not add signage about vehicle restrictions or directionals (no trucks, U-turn, etc.). In the case of the Type A diagram above, the exit sign reads "Old Mill Road," with a directional white sign, "All Turns" also attached. Our normal exit guidance calls for naming the exit "to Old Mill Rd," ignoring the directional sign. The type is ramp because we do not want to display "to Old Mill Rd" on the map. However, because of the confusion that may arise for a route that brings the driver onto Low Rd instead of Old Mill Rd, a better name is "to Old Mill Rd / Low Rd."
  3. For jughandles with DIRECTIONAL signage only, typically treat the same as UNSIGNED (below). However, if for some reason it is necessary to provide a name, you may use the DIRECTIONAL sign's language, and make the segment of type Ramp. Examples: a) Where there are two adjacent exits, and it would be confusing to have Waze announce the turn without any name or with the name of the connecting road (which doesn't appear on any sign), then it may be appropriate to name the jughandle using the wording on the DIRECTIONAL sign, since that will best orient the driver and allow him or her to select the proper turn. b) The jughandle's end connects directly back to the original highway, typical of a Type B jughandle. It may confuse the driver to hear an instruction to exit to the highway they are already on, even for the opposite compass direction.
  4. For UNSIGNED jughandles, typically leave unnamed. Use AGC rules as described for SIMPLE signage (above). However, you may need to seek local guidance or senior editor guidance in some situations to create an effective set of exit instructions. For example, if the jughandle might be easily confused with another nearby junction, or where the name of the connecting street may create an ambiguity, we may need to invent a unique name for the jughandle so that it gives better instructions. In such situations, use ramp segment type, to prevent display of the invented name.
  5. For UNSIGNED pseudo-jughandles, you will typically leave the street name as-is, matching the true street name. However, if more complex instructions are required, you may need to insert a stub ramp between the highway and the start of the regular street type, to accommodate the longer naming and to avoid giving a real street a false name (especially problematic if there are houses, businesses, or any other location that has an address number along the segment).
Detour prevention errors

Special handling to avoid incorrect Waze Detour Prevention:

Waze has a special routing rule designed to prevent Waze from leading a driver off a highway and then immediately re-enter the same highway (the exit/entrance may be measured by Waze as slightly faster, but is confusing, awkward, and may not be legal). The way Waze does this is by examining the names of the next several segments in a route. If one of them is a mismatch, and then some segments later a match appears again, Waze will make some effort to avoid that route.

When a jughandle creates a U-turn, Waze may inappropriately detect it as exactly such a detour. For example, consider an undivided highway ("Highway 99"), with jughandle used for a U-turn. For our example, the jughandle is an unsigned Type A, leading to cross street ("Plain St"). If Waze is going to lead the driver through this jughandle U-turn, the segment name sequence would be:

Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Illustration of the example
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
Route that may be impossible due to BDP logic
  1. Highway 99
  2. Unnamed jughandle segment
  3. Plain St
  4. Highway 99

Segments 1 and 4 have the same name, but the two middle segments do not. Waze sees this as a detour, and will try for a different route, even if somewhat longer and slower.

To prevent Waze from falsely considering this to be a detour, you must provide Highway 99 as an alternate name to the jughandle and to any cross street segment(s) between the jughandle and the intersection. This will cause Waze to see all four segments as having the same name (even though two primary names are different).

Changed jug attributes to prevent false positive BDP and allow route - now ramp, named "to Plaint St" and alt name matching highway. Same alt should be applied to intervening segment of Plain St.
Since the jughandle is unnamed, it is somewhat awkward to provide an alternate name. You may elect to name the jughandle "to Plain St" so that it has a primary name, before you add Highway 99 as the alternate. If you do so, make the jughandle of type ramp, so the exit/entrance-style naming does not display.

Note that if Highway 99 was a divided highway with separate one-way north and south segments, the sequence above would normally change to:

  1. Highway 99 W
  2. Unnamed jughandle segment
  3. Plain St (between jughandle and intersection)
  4. Plain St (between 99 W and 99 E)
  5. Highway 99 E

In that case, the first and last segments no longer have the same name. You would not need to provide the highway name as an alternate to the middle segments, since detour prevention would never be considered by Waze anyway. In the same scenario, if the north and south segments did not include the N and S cardinals, you would have to go back to alternate names. Another options would be to bring naming of the entire highway up to standard by adding the cardinal N and S along the entire highway.

Another situation where alternate naming is not required is where the U-turn is not permitted anyway. This occurs where no left turn is allowed from the cross street into the reverse lanes of the original roadway.

Parking Lot Roads

This state uses the following national standard guidelines found in the Wiki for Parking Lot Roads.


This state uses the following unique guidelines for mapping alleys.

  • Alleys should always be mapped if they have a name.
  • Alleys should always be mapped if they are the sole access to a home or business.
  • Alleys should always be set to "Parking Lot Road" type. Do not use the "Alley" type in WME as that works differently than the usage case in NJ.
  • Alleys are normally mapped if they are acknowledged by the municipality.

If an alley does not meet the above criteria, mapping is optional. Leave the name field blank.

Note: Be careful adding alleys which will be closer to the destination pins for house numbers, as this can cause navigation to addresses on that block to route onto the alley instead of the main road. It may be better not to map these alleys, or you may have to adjust all the address pins to be closer to the actual roads.

Dirt Roads

This state uses the following national standard guidelines found in the Wiki for Dirt Roads.

Note: In other Regions/Countries, the usage of Dirt Roads-4x4 Trails may vary greatly.