If you live in New Jersey you don’t have to have a driver’s license to be well aware of our traffic circles.

But just in case…

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What is a traffic circle?

"A traffic circle or rotary is a type of circular intersection in which traffic must travel in one direction around a central island. In some countries, traffic entering the circle has the right-of-way, and drivers in the circle must yield. In many other countries, traffic entering the circle must yield."


Are they referred to as something else?

Traffic circles are also called roundabouts. In fact, Jon Anderson and Steve Howe of the rock group Yes, wrote a song called Roundabout. The lyrics came from the band's travels in Scotland in 1971. As they sat in the back of their transit van, the many roundabouts they encountered along the way along with the mountainsides, gave them the inspiration to write the song. In another piece of pop culture, the roundabout was famously featured in the movie European Vacation. Where Clark Griswold and his family were driving through London came upon the infamous Lambeth Bridge Roundabout.

via Google maps
via Google maps

You remember the scene. In fact, “look kids, Big Ben, Parliament” is recited many times around our stupid circles.

When and where was the first traffic circle created?

The very first traffic circle was created right here in New Jersey back in 1925.  The Airport Circle in Pennsauken opened in 1927.  Renamed, Camden Central Airport, this bright idea was created to link what we know today as US 30, US 130, Route 70, Route 38, and Kaighn Avenue.  Recently it was modified with traffic lights, ramps, and overpasses.  A welcomed and common decision for many of the states “rings of indecision”.

How many traffic circles are there in New Jersey?

At one time, NJ was home to 101 circles.  The idea was to keep traffic moving efficiently.  As the number of cars on the road increased over time, circles delayed the movement of traffic.  More so than not, drivers didn’t and still don’t know how to navigate through a simple circle, and accidents are caused as a result.  This along with other reasons began an unofficial campaign to restructure these intersections.

How many traffic Circles are still active in New Jersey?

According to Steven Schapiro, a state Department of Transportation spokesman, roughly 30 Traffic circles, still in operation. 

We can all feel good.  A drivers dozen of New Jersey traffic circles no longer exist.

But we still have more work to do!

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