If you’ve ever driven on the New Jersey Turnpike, you might have noticed the billboards. Those billboards might have made you think twice about making that sudden right turn into the Starbucks. But, other than a few iconic landmarks and a dash of scenery, you’d hardly have recognized the state as you’d left the Parkway. That’s because a lot has changed in New Jersey since the 1950s. The landfills are less of a sight now. The billboards are less of a sight now. And, most notably, the road itself has changed. While the number of lanes remains the same, the exits have multiplied. And the ramps connecting the exits are longer and wider than ever before.
Making A Right Turn At A Red Light
One of the most significant changes to the New Jersey Turnpike is how cars interact with traffic lights and stop signs. Back in the day, the main purpose of a traffic light was to stop speeding. You’d drive through a red light, and everything else would be clear sailing. The light would turn yellow, and the rest of the cars would have to slow down and wait for you to make a right turn. Those lights were never meant to be run through like a tunnel, especially not the newer generation of lights that are smarter than ever before.
When you approach a light, your car will continuously emit small pulses of digital information to the light, estimating your speed and determining whether or not you’re going to stop at the red light. If you’re going to stop, you have to press the brake pedal and release the gas pedal. But if you’re going to speed through, you have to do the opposite – press the gas pedal and release the brake.
The Growth Of N.J. Turnpike Exit Complexes
One of the other significant changes to the New Jersey Turnpike are the exit ramps and connector roads that lead out of the state. While the number of lanes and interchanges stayed the same for decades, the exits grew. A large number of people from New Jersey work remotely, traveling to and from work through the New Jersey Turnpike. And with that, the number of exits and the ramps connecting them increased significantly. With more people using the road, the need for more signage and ways to navigate increased traffic also increased.
Finally, the need for rerouting came about because of the growth of New Jersey Turnpike. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the Turnpike was a singular entity. You’d enter the state, and you’d either be going to New York or Philadelphia. That was it. There were no other roads connecting the cities. Over the years, the number of interchanges and access roads increased, as did the number of towns and cities that the road connected to. Back in the day, the only way to reroute was to take the next exit. But that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Nowadays, the majority of the interchanges feature some sort of navigation aid, directing motorists to the next destination.