Garden State Parkway vs. New Jersey Turnpike

by Donald Hanson • September 9, 2010 • Jersey WarsComments (3)7984

The state of New Jersey has 2 toll roads, the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. The question is: Which one is better?

1. Cost
: Although the Parkway raised it’s prices a couple of years ago, the Turnpike is still the more expensive road. Plus there are stretches of the Parkway that are toll-free like between exits 130 and 140 and in Cape May. And there are entrance and exit combinations that are free in one direction, so even in the toll areas, there are ways to use the Parkway without encountering toll plazas.
Winner : Garden State Parkway.
2. Destinations : The Turnpike has 18 exits over 122.4 miles. The Parkway has 80 exits over 172.4 miles. The Parkway gets you to nicer places up north and the shore points down south as well as way more places overall. The Turnpike’s purpose is to get you from NYC to Philadelphia and is part of Route 95 of the Interstate Highway System that takes travelers from Maine to Florida. The Parkway is better for residents and the Turnpike is better for people passing through.
Winner : Tie
3. Traffic/Congestion : On the Turnpike you get a ticket when you get on and pay when you get off. The Parkway has improved by reducing the number of highway toll booths in half with the one-way system but there are still toll plazas that create traffic and slow down your journey. Plus the Parkway has more exits so there are more backups from cars getting off. The Turnpike does get some traffic near NYC, Philadelphia and around Exit 8 where the car and truck lanes merge but that’s it.
Winner : New Jersey Turnpike
4. Ambience : The Garden State Parkway, as it’s name implies, has more of a park-like feel to it and goes through suburban areas up north and runs parallel to the shore down south. The Turnpike goes though industrial areas and factories up north, and is even more boring than the Parkway down south. On top of that, the Parkway doesn’t allow trucks so you get bombarded with them on the Turnpike.
Winner : Garden State Parkway
5. Name & Logo : Just look at the logos : The striking yellow and green and the outline of the state in a circle design as opposed to the green and white Turnpike sign, a square with two corners cut off to make a nameless shape and those giant letters. The name Garden State Parkway has a nice flow and is pleasant sounding while the New Jersey Turnpike is choppy and the word Turnpike sounds harsh.
Winner : Garden State Parkway.
There you have it, the Garden State Parkway is the winner. I’ve yet to find one person who thinks otherwise. Cast your vote for the better road…By the way, the Atlantic City Expressway doesn’t count, it’s too short and all it does is get gamblers from Philadelphia to Atlantic City.
That’s what I think. What do you think?
Vote for the road you like better here:

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3 Responses to Garden State Parkway vs. New Jersey Turnpike

  1. talfonso says:

    I’m pretty much a Garden State Parkway girl, although I also travel along the New Jersey Turnpike (I find its logo better than the other, IMHO!) as well for those long road trips out of state like Washington DC, the WB Studio Store in DE (now gone), and those days at Great Adventure. (I used the Turnpike as part of my move from NJ to my current state of FL in ’99.)

    Maybe I chose the GSP over the NJTP because I lived next to the Paterson Periphral (NJ State Route 19) closest to the former tollway’s southbound entrance. It’s basically a mile between the entrance and my former home and it’s pretty much convenient. BTW, it’s Exit 155P – pretty much answers the ignorant “What exit” joke, eh?

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