U.S. 1’s annual survey measures the time it takes to drive the

9.1-mile stretch of Route 1 between Franklin Corner and Raymond roads.

Four drivers made runs on September 19, 20, and 21. Overall traffic

was slower this year than last by three minutes.

The Rush Hour Report: Last year Route 1 commuters benefited greatly by

the removal of the Nassau Park traffic light. But this year the rush

got caught in a crush. The culprit: The afternoon rush hour drive,

going south, which took an average of more than 12 minutes longer for

our quartet of drivers to complete. This was slower than in any year

since 1998, before the Meadow Road overpass was completed.

According to our drivers, the biggest tie-up was at the intersection

of Scudders Mill Road, with eastbound cars merging to go south on

Route 1 and getting stuck at the Harrison Street light. More jams

occurred at the Fisher Place light, and then at the Washington Road

circle. By the time they got through that circle, they were nearly

`home free.’

If and when the DOT carries through on its plans for what used to be

called the Millstone Bypass (now called the Route 1/Route 571/Penns

Neck project), that would eliminate all the traffic lights north of

the Carnegie Center and would clear up at least some of the Scudders

Mill merger tangle.

But we can expect no improvements for at least three more years,

because 2009 is the earliest date that work could start. The first

phase would be a new Millstone River bridge (see article in Fast

Lane).

The road: the 9.1-mile stretch of Route 1 between Franklin Corner to

the south, and Raymond Road to the north.

The results: This year – the worst year for southbound drivers since

1998 – evening rush hour increased by one-third, from 21.5 minutes to

nearly 34 minutes. The tieups start at Scudders Mill Road overpass,

where the stream of eastbound cars tries to merge on Route 1 South.

Northbound drives, on the other hand, held steady or showed a

decrease. Overall, times were three minutes longer than last year. The

overall times are just 30 seconds short of the longest ones ever, in

1992.

For the morning rush, drivers started at from 8 to 8:45 a.m., and for

the evening rush, they started at from 5 to 5:45 p.m.

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