South Jersey~ A Look At Our Famous “Traffic Circles.”

South Jersey Circles- A collection of aerials and information

A lot of folks traveling from out of the area are unaware of the mysteries of traveling around our South Jersey Circles. It is what makes us a bit unique to the rest of the country.

Here are the rules of navigating our famous circles for those visiting from out-of-state:

“South Jersey Circle Etiquette”- The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right of way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection.

When 2 vehicles enter an intersection at the same time the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right of way to the driver of the vehicle on the right.”. Since a circle is comprised as a series of uncontrolled intersections, the driver to the right (entering the circle) has the right of way.

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Built in 1925, the first traffic circle in New Jersey was the Airport Circle in Pennsauken. It was named for the airport pictured here.

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Central Airport Circle and airport. Gorgeous aerial shot.

New Jersey at one point had a total of 101 traffic circles, 44 of which were part of state roads. However, the number has shrunk as traffic circles have been phased out by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. In the 1920s and 1930s, New Jersey felt that traffic circles were an efficient way for moving traffic through three or more intersecting roads.

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Camden Airport Circle Overpass, 1946.

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Airport Circle after the completion of the overpass. A complete nightmare.

Located right down the street… This circle…..

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Aerial Camden circle no date. Estimated 1946-1947. The circle that once existed at Haddonfield-Sorrel Horse Road and Route 38.

One rather traffic succubus and still in existence today, is that of both Brooklawn Circles.

This photo was taken upon its completion. Notice no Brooklawn Diner or Hess gas station and not much erosion coming off the Delaware River.

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Aerial View of the Brooklawn Circles. Notice Creek Road, Broadway and Route 130 in this photo.

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Another view with the Brooklawn Water Works pictured in the top right corner.

The circle is currently a nightmare especially when it is flooded as shown in the photo below. Flooding is usually a very common site. It creates a traffic fiasco.

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Recent photo just taken days ago of the Brooklawn traffic circle from the Brooklawn Diner.

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Caption Reads, Flooded Brooklawn Circle, December 1972. Credit: Gloucester County Historical Society.

This is an anomaly. The intersection of Kings Highway/Centerton Road in Swedesboro. I thought New Jersey was getting rid of circles. As per the above mentioned, as circles are suppose to be phasing out. However, this was recently completed in early 2013.

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Intersection of Kings Highway and Centerton Road in the Swedesboro, New Jersey location. Completed in 2013.

Welcome to New Jersey, my friends!!! Buckle up and stay safe while driving our disatrous roadways!

24 thoughts on “South Jersey~ A Look At Our Famous “Traffic Circles.”

  1. Your link brought me to a “a page can not be found” error from google

    On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM, Yummygal’s South Jersey Adventures wrote:

    > ** > Yummygal posted: “”

  2. As a native South Jerseyan who is now living in Central Pennsylvania, I am really enjoying your blog and your updates on Facebook. Thanks for doing what you’re doing. When I was growing up my parents told me that Airport Circle was named for an airport that used to be there, but by the time I came along it was long gone. It’s great to finally see a photo of the airport.

  3. I enjoy seeing these when Al posts them. I grew up in Lindenwold and these really bring back memories. I now live in Anchorage, AK and recently they have started installing circles on some of our intersections. Up here they call them “Roundabouts” and are as much of a pain as they were in South Jersey, lol.

    • Drew, I find it funny how everywhere else they call them roundabouts, but they are circles here. That’s funny that they are popping up in the booming state of Alaska now. Lindenwold is a great little town and my grandparents were from there:)

      • Pennsylvania is adding some also. “Roundabouts” is also what they’re called in England. My wife (also from South Jersey) and I remarked on it when we saw a news story on Pennsylvania adding “roundabouts” that New Jersey is getting rid of circles and everyone else now is adding them. I was still living in South Jersey when the Marlton Circle and the Ellisburg Circle were both eliminated.

        • We’re planning a trip to England in 2 months so it will be quite interesting navigating a “roundabout.” I guess folks are hopping on the “Jersey train.”

  4. As a fan of roads (yes, there really are some of us out there), I love these photos of the circles. Hopefully you’re able to post photos of every circle – those that still remain along with those that bit the dust – that exists or existed in South Jersey!

    As a side note, the new breed of circles aren’t ‘circles’, but ’roundabouts’. Because of our dislike of circles, they’ve been slow to catch on in this state compared to other states. Along with the one in Swedesboro, there’s one on 322 at Rowan, a few near Rt. 42 and Camden County College, and several others throughout the area. They strictly adhere to the rules that those in the roundabout have the right-of-way, you must yield prior to entering the roundabout, and the radius is much smaller than the circles built in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s!

    • I’ve been to all those circles or ’roundabouts’. I had to post the one in Swedesboro since that was the latest “addition” to the team. Oh and I have PLENTY more. I’m just getting warmed up here, lol. Thanks for stopping by “Fan of Roads.” -YG

  5. Your fifth photograph above is not Collingswood Circle, which had a teardrop shape to improve traffic flow; rather, this image depicts the circle that once existed at Haddonfield-Sorrel Horse Road and Route 38. In the photo above, Haddonfield-Sorrel Horse Road runs from left to right while Route 38 runs from the top of the photograph to the bottom, so the photographer was looking northwest when he took the shot. I have never had the opportunity see this photo before, so I think it is a pretty rare shot.

  6. Great picture of the double circle near Brooklawn. My family and I navigated that nightmare for many years. My maternal grandmother and great grandmother lived close by in Brooklawn. Grandmom worked at the original Ponzio’s Diner (the stainless steel one) and later the “new” one built just up the street. The diner located on the circle was originally the “S.S. Atlantis Restaurant” and actually had a facade designed to look like an ocean liner. Love the blog! Great work!

    Mike

    • Thanks Mike. I have photos of the old Ponzios as well. I’m working on a few things right now and that include old photos of Route 130 and Brooklawn. I appreciate the feedback. Both circles are still nightmares. haha! Thanks for sharing your story about your grandmother and great grandpa!

      • If you can find a picture of the burger joint across the street from the then “new” Ponzio’s it would be awesome. It actually was designed and painted to look just like a burger back in the 1960’s. BTW that was grandmother and great grandmother. 😉 After my great grandmother passed away in 1974, my grandmother married her longtime boyfriend and moved to Runnemede. My step grandfather was my hero. I don’t think I have too many pictures from back then, but I’ll hit up my oldest brother. Oh, and if you ever find yourself in the Runnemede/Glendora metropolitan area, go to the G&M Deli (East Evesham Rd). Get the roast pork, the au jus, sharp provolone, and some crusty rolls. My grandmother and step grandfather’s house was just around the corner on Ardmore Avenue. I spent many a weekend there and running to the deli for the roast pork, in house roasted beef, roasted peppers, etc.

        Your blog is a real breath of fresh air.

        Mike

        • Thanks Mike! I’ll have to try out the roast pork! After all, I am the Yummygal, lol. Thank you for the feedback. It is just a little hobby of mine, but I do enjoy learning new things about South Jersey’s history.

        • My love of history began with me exploring western Salem County via bicycle as a child.

          At 18 a friend and I rode our bicycles from Pennsvile to Runnemede via Rte. 49 to Salem, Rte 45 to Woodbury, County Road 706, to Clements Bridge Rd.

          I’m a veteran explorer.

          Now that I’m retired (retired at 48 in 2009), I indulge my whims as such.

          The main reason I drive when I go back to Memphis is so I can take side roads, talk to folks, and read every historical marker on the way.

          :p

  7. I was talking to someone who never heard of the Maple Shade circle that brought routes 38, 73 and 41 together. It made me feel very old but i was suprised not to find much about it on the internet. Also, do you have any info on Spring Lake in Pennsauken? My dad used to take us swimming there back in the 1950’s. By the way, my dad was one of the engineers who worked on the cloverleaf on 130 where 73 comes through. I wish he was still alive so i could ask him about it.

    • That’s funny! I posted the Maple Shade Circle to the facebook page a few weeks back! You should see it, it is just as you described with the intersections. I’m sure I do have some info on Spring Lake or in books somewhere. I’ve never heard of one mentioned in Pennsauken.. only a Spring Lake in two other towns in South Jersey so I haven’t got a clue! I’ll have to look into it. Thanks!

  8. Spring Lake was on 73 to the right as you came off the bridge. I think it was just a little up the road from the drive in theater. My dad worked in Pennsauken and would drive home to Northeast Philadelphia at lunch and pick my mom and the kids up and we would spend the afternoon there. He would join us after work. We also went to the drive in a lot. We would go early and play in the playground till it got dark. The bug truck went up and down the rows spraying. Can you imagine that today? I have so many good memories of those days.

  9. I love this post! I grew up in Cherry Hill and one of the very first things I was taught when learning to drive was how to navigate the traffic circles. I now live in Michigan. They are currently building circles in some of the towns around here (although they call them roundabouts) and everyone is absolutely petrified of them. I just laugh as I go around with no problems while everyone else gets all confused.

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