For years, a ban on right-hand turns from Garden State Parkway Exit 171 in Woodcliff Lake has irked Washington Township residents.
The ban, they say, forces drivers headed toward northern parts of the Pascack Valley to get off at Exit 168 in the township, causing traffic delays and collisions along Washington Avenue.
Now, data from new traffic studies might be able to help the township's case, according to Mayor Janet Sobkowicz.
Township officials recently met with representatives from the county and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the Parkway, Sobkowicz said. The Authority will be conducting traffic studies at Exit 168 next month and in April 2014 and the county will hold a study at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Pascack Road to see how many eastbound drivers turn north there.
Also, township officials are looking at the 1980s court case which originally set the ban on right turns from Exit 171.
The data could provide the foundation for an eventual lawsuit to get the ban lifted, Sobkowicz said.
"If we're going to go to court, we need to have all our figures and information," she said.
The Turnpike Authority has previously worked to make the Washington Township exit safer. In 2011, the 168 exit ramp was widened in an effort to stop cars from lining up on the Parkway while waiting to turn onto Washington Avenue. That work was apparently successful, with the number of accidents dropping by about 50 percent, Sobkowicz said.