Dangerous intersection: Springfield and Valley

This past Friday I passed a terrible accident at the intersection of Springfield and Valley.  There were 3-4 emergency vehicles, damaged cars and traumatized young people standing by the side of the road.  I'm not sure what happened, but I know that every time I make a left from Valley onto Springfield I feel like I'm taking my life into my hands, as they say.  I wonder why nothing has been done about this clearly dangerous intersection.  Is it not possible to have a left-turn signal?


That intersection is in Union (township and county).  Contact Union County and apprise them of the problem.



I'm confused.  Coming from Valley towards Springfield, I don't think you can make a left.  You can just go straight onto Springfield going West.  No?


bub said:

I'm confused.  Coming from Valley towards Springfield, I don't think you can make a left.  You can just go straight onto Springfield going West.  No?

This is in front of Home Depot, right? I make a left there from Valley all the time. It's a PITA. There really should be a left turn signal.


I remember when they reworked that intersection some years ago to make it easier to turn right, but I was surprised they did nothing to improve left turns. 


Agreed that it is a dangerous intersection and it is appalling that the county has never put in a left turn signal.

When we first moved to Maplewood we quickly learned not to make a left turn there to get to the Home Depot. Its much safer to make a right onto Valley from Vauxhall.


Harriet said:

Agreed that it is a dangerous intersection and it is appalling that the county has never put in a left turn signal.

When we first moved to Maplewood we quickly learned not to make a left turn there to get to the Home Depot. Its much safer to make a right onto Valley from Vauxhall.

I go down valley and make a left on Arcadia then a right on Springfield to get to Home Depot. 


The problem is the cross friction between people entering Valley from Springfield Ave at the Jug handle. The conflict with people wanting to make a left turn from Valley onto Springfield before the light changes. The second group are usually at fault for accidents.

What is needed is a delayed green to the people entering Valley and a left turn signal for the people wanting to go onto Springfield Avenue, towards H.D. or Whole Foods.


Jaytee said

I go down valley and make a left on Arcadia then a right on Springfield to get to Home Depot. 

i do this as well. I don't think I've ever made a left at that light as long as I have lived here.



DanDietrich said:

Jaytee said

I go down valley and make a left on Arcadia then a right on Springfield to get to Home Depot. 

i do this as well. I don't think I've ever made a left at that light as long as I have lived here.

Dudes. That’s one of my secret traffic workarounds. Please stop sharing these!  smile


The intersection looks fine, the problem is the drivers not following rules of the road and not paying attention.

Do people on valley think the left lane of the jug handle is left turn only and assume those cars are turning left?


jmitw said:

The intersection looks fine, the problem is the drivers not following rules of the road and not paying attention.

Do people on valley think the left lane of the jug handle is left turn only and assume those cars are turning left?

The problem, when you’re waiting to turn left from Valley onto Springfield, is difficulty seeing traffic coming around the jughandle. At least, that’s my distant recollection, because I’ve been using Arcadia Place for years. (And if I know about it, it ain’t much of a secret.)


traffic should be visible if they are not speeding, you watch as you are about to go into the turn and are prepared to stop if need be, anyone whipping around that jug handle so fast that they can't be seen by oncoming traffic or stop if someone is turning is driving recklessly.  when you go around the jug handle you should be able to stop at the light should it be red.

The street level pi on google maps shows you can see the cars as they enter the jug handle, would be plenty of time to complete a turn safely.


jmitw said:

traffic should be visible if they are not speeding, you watch as you are about to go into the turn and are prepared to stop if need be, anyone whipping around that jug handle so fast that they can't be seen by oncoming traffic or stop if someone is turning is driving recklessly.  when you go around the jug handle you should be able to stop at the light should it be red.

The street level pi on google maps shows you can see the cars as they enter the jug handle, would be plenty of time to complete a turn safely.

well, I think you are wrong about this.  People race through the jughandle, and there is no benefit at all to being able to say "I was right" after you have been killed.


The problem is that people try to Jersey Left onto Springfield from Valley because most times the oncoming traffic through the jughandle never ends for you make a safe left. The light goes red and you're left in the middle of Springfield, so people try to jump the gun. 

The other day I was entering Valley fro the jughandle in the left lane, both jughandle lanes were full. Two cars were trying to Jersey Left in front of 2 lanes of oncoming traffic, and the cars entering Valley in the right lane weren't having any of it, so us in the left lane couldn't move because of the two turning cars, the two turning cars couldn't move because of the jughandle cars in the right lane, and in the end everyone left that intersection angry because it doesn't have a left turn signal.

To jmitw's point, the grass on that island in the jughandle isn't always as well-kept as you see on the current Google street view, so you don't always see what's in there that clearly. And yes, people fly through it too fast, sometimes just to avoid that red light on Springfield, they hit the jughandle, make a right and continue on.

OP is right, it needs a dedicated left turn light there because it's a piggin' mess.


DanDietrich said:

Jaytee said

I go down valley and make a left on Arcadia then a right on Springfield to get to Home Depot. 

i do this as well. I don't think I've ever made a left at that light as long as I have lived here.

I do too but I really think it's unfair for the people who live on that street. Used to be, most of the streets went through, so you could choose. They changed that so now the only real option is Arcadia, unless you want to deal with the Valley/Springfield nonsense. Never could figure out why they don't have a left turn signal there. 


There are certain intersections where based on the angle and closeness, a Jersey left is feasible. Valley/Springfield isn't one of them.   


DaveSchmidt said:

jmitw said:

The intersection looks fine, the problem is the drivers not following rules of the road and not paying attention.

Do people on valley think the left lane of the jug handle is left turn only and assume those cars are turning left?

The problem, when you’re waiting to turn left from Valley onto Springfield, is difficulty seeing traffic coming around the jughandle. At least, that’s my distant recollection, because I’ve been using Arcadia Place for years. (And if I know about it, it ain’t much of a secret.)

The traffic coming from Valley and turning left onto Springfield needs to get a left turn only green light before (or after) the cars coming the other way.  Traffic gets backed up there quite often, then people get frustrated and try to cut off the other cars when turning left.


KarenMarlowe said:

I do too but I really think it's unfair for the people who live on that street. Used to be, most of the streets went through, so you could choose. They changed that so now the only real option is Arcadia, unless you want to deal with the Valley/Springfield nonsense. Never could figure out why they don't have a left turn signal there. 

I feel bad for the residents of Arcadia, too. AND they just built a new apartment block on that corner, so there's even more people there. I typically Jersey Left at Valley and Vauxhall and make a right at the light onto Springfield. No one needs to get to Home Depot THAT badly.


Another example of Union (township/county) lack of attention to safety is the absence of a crosswalk on Arcadia at the entrance to Sgt. Herbert Davis Park. 


DanDietrich said:

Jaytee said

I go down valley and make a left on Arcadia then a right on Springfield to get to Home Depot. 

i do this as well. I don't think I've ever made a left at that light as long as I have lived here.

Me too and I do something similar with one of the other roads (I don't know the name of it) to get to Target.  I'm not sure I've ever done the left from Valley St although I knew that you could ... mainly from being in the jughandle and seeing others do it.


sac said:

Me too and I do something similar with one of the other roads (I don't know the name of it) to get to Target.  I'm not sure I've ever done the left from Valley St although I knew that you could ... mainly from being in the jughandle and seeing others do it.

yes the road that comes out at the mechanic shop on Springfield, then quick left into Whole Foods.

I really don’t understand why people would go down to the end of valley, then wait forever to make a left turn. If everyone did that could you imagine the traffic nightmare at the intersection? 


Jaytee said:

sac said:

Me too and I do something similar with one of the other roads (I don't know the name of it) to get to Target.  I'm not sure I've ever done the left from Valley St although I knew that you could ... mainly from being in the jughandle and seeing others do it.

yes the road that comes out at the mechanic shop on Springfield, then quick left into Whole Foods.

I really don’t understand why people would go down to the end of valley, then wait forever to make a left turn. If everyone did that could you imagine the traffic nightmare at the intersection? 

I actually do this all the time, though at most it's just a few times a month, if that. It's not that bad half the time; the other half is a pain.

TBH though, I find the biggest annoyance to be how long it takes the light to change. The Springfield traffic gets a green light forever.

I did not know about the Arcadia trick.


ridski said:

KarenMarlowe said:

I do too but I really think it's unfair for the people who live on that street. Used to be, most of the streets went through, so you could choose. They changed that so now the only real option is Arcadia, unless you want to deal with the Valley/Springfield nonsense. Never could figure out why they don't have a left turn signal there. 

I feel bad for the residents of Arcadia, too. AND they just built a new apartment block on that corner, so there's even more people there. I typically Jersey Left at Valley and Vauxhall and make a right at the light onto Springfield. No one needs to get to Home Depot THAT badly.

I used to say that the very tiny home at the corner of Arcadia and Springfield was my retirement home. Oh, if I actually had the foresight to purchase it... 


KarenMarlowe said:

I used to say that the very tiny home at the corner of Arcadia and Springfield was my retirement home. Oh, if I actually had the foresight to purchase it... 

Union owned those two tiny houses. They also owned the little gas station/ auto repair shop up at the triangle opposite the funeral home, which they turned into a tiny park.


How many of you know that vauxhaul was settled by freed slaves? 


Jaytee said:

How many of you know that vauxhaul was settled by freed slaves? 

How many know it was designed by Vaux, partner of Olmstead?


KarenMarlowe said:

Jaytee said:

How many of you know that vauxhaul was settled by freed slaves? 

How many know it was designed by Vaux, partner of Olmstead?

Then who was Haul?


drummerboy said:

KarenMarlowe said:

Jaytee said:

How many of you know that vauxhaul was settled by freed slaves? 

How many know it was designed by Vaux, partner of Olmstead?

Then who was Haul?

I always thought it was named after Vaux Hall, the building on Valley Street with the Doric columns built in 1843, before Calvert Vaux was discovered. 


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