New Jersey Roads - NJ 208

NJ 208 is a north-south road, but its main function is as an east-west continuation of NJ 4 toward north-central New Jersey. It was proposed to turn to the north, though, well west of I-287, heading up to join NY 208 in a huge circle that would have torn apart scenic mountains without doing much. At least it would have been a bypass for weekend I-87 traffic heading back home on I-287 and the Garden State Parkway. To prove it's an east-west road, most of the exits along 208 are for north-south roads.

This 1939 Bergen County map from the NJ State Highway Dept. shows the original planned extension of NJ 208 past Ramapo Lake, decades before the completion of Skyline Drive (which heads north for 1.7 miles off this scan).

CR 127 WB leaving CR 507, which it uses to bridge NJ 208 between pieces of Harristown Rd., at the NJ 208 SB exit for Maple Ave./CR 507. There's a fire station inside the cloverleaf loop (which is really Elm Ave.).

The High Mountain Road interchange was moved well to the east to accommodate I-287's eating up the western end of NJ 208 (which had extended over US 202 to Skyline Drive, now I-287 Exits 58 and 57 respectively).

See that gas station? NJ 208 is considered on most maps a Jersey freeway, a divided highway with some but not full access control. Except for the eastern couple of miles, though, the road manages to be a freeway, albeit a narrow, tree-lined, old-fashioned four-lane one.

Noticing yet that there are more NB exits than SB?

Plaza Road SB in Fair Lawn. Click for closeup.

Go back to the SB side, and you'll see that this is CR 507. Why is it only signed in one direction and not in the other? Admittedly, those SB signs look awfully crowded, as if the shields were an afterthought, but I have to think all the signs on both sides were installed around the same time - they all really do look the same.

Department of Redundancy Department, anyone? One more BGS would get rid of this gore LGS (which duplicates, if you'll notice, the BGS just past it) and would fit right in with the others. I fail to see how the street signs contribute anything at freeway speeds. Did you notice the arrows on top pointing down the exit? Well I only noticed them just now, certainly not while driving.

The last two photos are left and right on the same gantry.

One more "extra" exit, but this takes the place of High Mountain Road - part of the casualties associated with I-287 was NB 208's access to the latter. The last 4 photos are two left-right pairs on the same gantry; I cut off the sign for I-287 South because the only button copy is around the outside, nothing in the middle.

Note that I-87 is now being mentioned here. The Mahwah exit is the only one in New Jersey north of here, at NJ 17 (Exit 66; NJ 208 is Exit 59). So, looking back, I-287, NJ 17, and NJ 208 make a nice, neat triangle (with some help from NJ 4).
Onto NJ 4
To NJ 17
Onto Morlot Ave. (Bergen CR 78)
Onto CR 507
Onto Cedar Hill Ave. (Bergen CR 93) or Russell Ave. (CR S-93)
Onto CR 502
Onto High Mountain Ave. (Bergen CR 89) or Summit Ave. (CR S-89)
Onto I-287
North to I-87 in New York
NJ 208 on Steve Anderson's
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