We had to make a rush trip to Cherry Hill, NJ earlier today. Google’s new maps program says the round trip was about 354 miles. That seems right. It’s about the limit for driving and getting anything accomplished before heading home.
Luckily for us traffic wasn’t too bad. We missed morning rush going into New York City and afternoon drive coming home. The only real snag on the trip was here in Connecticut, around 6:30 PM, traveling through Fairfield County.
I have no idea why went went slowly… but it did. It was worse than anything we saw on the Cross Bronx Expressway, if you can believe that.
I would guess a large park of our traffic free passage had to do with the advent of E-ZPass. Having this RFID tag in your car eliminates making the trip unnoticed, but it sure does speed things along.
The toll booths near Meadowlands Stadium were always a choke point. With E-ZPass we breezed through at highway speed. Same thing for the George Washington Bridge.
My only concern was a cryptic message at NJ Turnpike exit 4, when we saw a sign that told us to go – though our tag hadn’t been read. Honest officer, it was on the windshield.
It will be a surprise to find out what the toll actually is. I have no idea. It wasn’t posted anywhere.
This is a trip we used to make all the time while Helaine’s parents were alive.
I remember stopping on the Jersey Turnpike, driving our Mazda 929. When Steffie was an infant, the 929’s trunk made the perfect open air changing table.
The rest areas are still named after famous New Jersey residents like Joyce Kilmer, Vince Lombardi, Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Edison.
Is Grover Cleveland’s family proud to know that this former president’s most conspicuous achievement in the 21st century is having people mention his name when they need to make a pit stop¹? It would probably be defensible if he were still on the $1000 bill.
Speaking of the rest areas, it looks like they’ve been rebuilt, adding additional outward ugliness to what were ugly buildings to begin with. There are flowers near the sink (and loud music) in the mens room. The restaurant section is a medley of your favorite fast food joints in a food court arrangement.
New Jersey continues to lead the nation in “Full Service” gas stations. From a National Review commentary:
It is illegal to self-pump in New Jersey. You must have a gas-station professional pump your gas and ring up your purchase. This might have made some sense in 1949 when the law was passed and when most of the population still smoked and stupidity could conceivably kill at the gas station. But times have changed and pumping gas is a safe activity that almost everyone but the handicapped can perform with the greatest of ease. Pay-at-the-pump technology is standard at gas stations coast to coast. Motorists fly through stations with the breathtaking efficiency only Americans can take for granted. That is, except in New Jersey and Oregon