New Jersey Roads - Garden State Parkway - NB, N. of Raritan

Garden State Pkwy. NB, North of Raritan River

NB at Exit 129; I-287/NJ 440 and the rest of that mess is at Exit 127 heading this direction. Prior to the mess, Exit 127 was just New Brunswick Ave., and Exit 128 was just CR 501. Of course, back then, the Parkway was actually on the outside of US 9 instead of the inside, making those exits possible. The two signs on the right of the first photo are on the 9 NB offramp that leads to the Parkway NB and the Turnpike; go to the US 9 page to see the rest of that ramp's signage, and more area signage in general.

Apparently, to use the Parkway, all vehicles must have undefined heights. The idea of the Metropark is to get New Brunswick-area commuters to one place and take the train northward from there.

As I'm exiting to Metropark at 131A, these deer are entering. They'd better get out before the toll plaza because I don't think they have enough axles to pay.

This foliage was photographed southbound, but not all of it has turned to fall colors. That tall skinny kid - what's he doing there? He's on the northbound side, and that brings the photo over here. It's a poorly-disguised radio tower that facilitates communication along the Turnpike and Parkway.

More photos from the abandoned Madison Hill rest area. Thanks to HNTB Corp., you can see it up close, along with the radio antenna that is Most Definitely Not a Tree. The first and last non-tree photos are mine.

The first photo may be blurry, but the 1-mile advance sign for Exit 135 has since been replaced. I've interspersed the Madison Hill Rd. and Raritan Rd. overpasses.

THRU TRAFFIC is hardly a destination, and the NJ 82 U-arrow for Exit 139B is quite fat indeed.

At the base of the Exit 138 ramp, a sign that's seen better days and one that needs better design.

Not all state-name shields are to be coveted. This recent development should be shunned forcefully.

An even more recent development has finally gotten rid of the ugly sign by, after 50 years of waiting, finally opening a direct ramp to I-78 WB. That ramp is now Exit 142B and Exit 142 is now 142A - these photos were taken a few days before the ramp opened - and the former Exit 142A became 142C.

Just after the Union toll, this ramp with the nice 3di-width shield was originally the only ramp to I-78 (eastbound). The I-80 interchange was the same way, with an SB-EB movement lacking until a recent reconstruction. The Hillside exit, where traffic U-turns to go WB, will thank the Turnpike Authority eternally for the new 142B.

Swinging all the way over from the right side (previous photo) to the left side (this photo) in the space of about 100 feet, I snapped this sign, the last remnant of a time when I-78 was still very incomplete through the Watchung Reservation. In the 1960's, after the NJ 24 freeway was completed from I-78 to Exit 7 in Millburn, 24 was removed from the old surface route, the Morris & Essex Turnpike and Springfield Ave. That became NJ 124, and NJ 24 followed I-78 east to the Newark Airport and the NJ Turnpike interchange, as verified by maps and this very sign. Sometime in the 1970's or 1980's, NJ 24 was truncated to end at I-78, even though I-78 traffic was still forced to exit there until the Watchung section opened. I believe there was once an overhead sign on this overpass (also northbound), but this is the last one left and as soon as I post it, my lurking NJDOT readers will have the sign removed. I know you're out there. Gimme this sign.

The brand-new flyover from the Parkway northbound to I-78 westbound as of the middle of 2009.

A nice touch to tell you what the toll amount is, here by I-280, and definitely more ramps should warn you in advance, not just those in Essex County. Right before that ramp is the narrowest traffic lane I've ever seen. Look at the right two lanes and see the clearance the car and truck have. In order to fit five lanes under an overpass originally designed for three lanes, I think all five have to squeeze into about 48 feet wide. That gives you three 10-foot lanes, subtract 1 foot on either side for the barriers... and that leaves two 8-foot lanes. And that's how bad it really is - the Parkway should just have four lanes until it gets under here.

Spifftacular diagrammatic, and another case of a shield drawn onto a sign. I'll continue to rant about these as you follow this page downward.

They get the point across, but these signs ain't quite right. The numerals in the first one need to be bigger (and the i's need to be dotted), the shields in the second one need black squares behind them since this is New Jersey, and both of them need exit tabs on the right side since that's where the exit is. No comment on the last one, it speaks for itself.

Past uniquely laid out signs to Exit 159, with the last two photos on the ramp itself. Ah, button copy shields - if you like them too, click on the last sign for a nighttime version that brings out the buttons. I'm less nostalgic for the wide and ugly ones on the mainline. And G. WASHINGTON BR. is all well and good, but really, New York deserves to be a control city here, I'd think.

Note that the first is in the new style of the Parkway (the exit tab is larger and has a round border like in PA), while the second is in the old style (right angles, centered exit tab). While the rest of newer Parkway signage otherwise meets NJ standards, the NJ 208 shield and the second picture's NJ 4 shield are too small and have no black square borders. In fact, those aren't shields at all - the "shields" are part of the text of the signs! Yup, shield drawn onto a sign.

Signs on the Exit 160 ramp. It's unlikely I'll ever get to deblur the first one because it's right after an expensive toll.

This NB BGS has the same issue as SB Exit 165 - the exit tab was added later, and centered. Notice that the street name is in a smaller, narrower, all-caps font; usually the GSP omits street names from non-route exits.

Over to the SB lanes
Back south on the NB lanes
Exit 142 ramp construction
Exit 145 ramp photos
Back to Garden State Parkway main page

Essex County frontage roads (Eastern/Western/Oraton Pkwys., Parkway Dr., JFK Dr.)

Into New York on the GSP Connector
Exit 129 to I-95/N. J. Turnpike
Exit 131 to NJ 27
Exit 137 to NJ 28
Exit 138 to CR 509
Exits 139-140 to NJ 82
Exit 140 to US 22
Exit 142 to I-78
Exit 142 to Newark Airport
To NJ 24
Exit 145 to I-280 or Central Ave., CR 508, but that ramp really goes to Grove St., CR 509
Exit 153 to NJ 3
Exit 153B to US 46
Exit 159 to I-80
Exit 160 to CR 62 (directly)
Exit 160 to NJ 208
Exit 160 or 161 to NJ 4
Back to New Jersey Roads
Back to Roads