Time to node what I know and dislike.
, New Jersey
is a pretty nice town. It has a lot of businesses, a pretty good (although small) movie theatre
, plenty of fast food and some good real food, a halfway decent comic book shop
, a neat roleplaying/wargaming shop
, and plenty of trees. In the category of things that don't matter to you, it also is my girlfriend's hometown and the hometown of a couple of my friends. (That's why I have such strong feelings about the town's roads, I have to go there often.) It has almost no hills, which makes it not much fun to drive in, but one would think that a completely flat town wouldn't be that hard to get around.
However, Fair Lawn, New Jersey has awful, frustrating traffic patterns
. First of all, Route 4
passes through the town and is called Broadway. It has two lanes in each direction, and a concrete divider
in the middle. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't have numerous side streets
attached to it - there's a side street every few hundred feet, it seems. Many side streets can't be turned left onto because it would be dangerous to cut across the two oncoming lanes. There's no way to work out a traffic light
setup to allow people to turn left that wouldn't cause huge backups in the stretches of Brodaway leading up to the lights, since a delayed green
or turn signal green light would double the time that people going one direction on Broadway would have to wait at the light.
In some places, there's a cross street
that is one way to your left, and you can't turn left at the intersection
. Many of these turning problems are ameliorated
by highway exit
-style bits of road, which you have to notice a block before you reach the intersection. They're not expecially well marked, either. Broadway is also lined with stores, the majority of the businesses worth visiting
in Fair Lawn. The upshot of all this is that if you don't live in Fair Lawn, and you drive down Broadway, you probably will have to make a u-turn
. There are many opportunities for u-turns, but like the left turn exits, you have to notice them before you can take them, which is hard.
Some sections of Fair Lawn are laid out in a grid
, most of it isn't. In the grid sections, often the placement of stop signs
has no rhyme or reason. It is not a question of the smaller street having the stop sign, nor of all the north-south streets having stop signs. Going in the same direction on a few parallel
streets that are near each other, sometimes you'll hit four stop signs in a row, sometimes you'll hit four lacks of stop signs, sometimes you'll his a stop sign, then the lack of one, then another sign, then another lack of one. Try to get used to a pattern, and you'll accidentally fly through an stop sign after three intersections without them and nearly have an accident.
Some of the gridded streets are numbered, some aren't. If I remember correctly, the numbers go from first street to the mid-teens, then stop, then start again halfway across town in the mid-twenties.