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August  28

The Answer: We Always Get Lost at Hoover

The question, posed by reader John Debold: why would someone pay a quarter to get off at the Bloomfield toll when they can drive another mile and get off for free?

Exit_148 If you get off of the Parkway North at Exit 148 you must pay $.25 yet if you go further to Hoover Avenue or Watchung or three or four other north exits on up the road, they're free! I think we're simply paying to keep the lights on at the 148 toll booth. Go figure.

Buy the t-shirt here. Sounds like it might become a collector's item.

August 28, 2005 in Barista Does the Math | Permalink


What if they need to go somewhere on Bloomfield Avenue, for example? Would you suggest driving too far north and then driving back south (spending more that the quarter in gas!)?

Posted by: Confused Citizen | Aug 28, 2005 12:40:53 PM

Did I dream this, or wasn't there talk of making all the northbound travel FREE on the GSP and charging basically double for the southbound? Maybe this is in transition?

Posted by: lurkerlady | Aug 28, 2005 4:12:33 PM

I thought they got rid of the toll's after they paid off the parkway.

Posted by: Johnny Drama | Aug 28, 2005 4:57:58 PM

"...wasn't there talk of making all the northbound travel FREE on the GSP and charging basically double for the southbound?" No. Some northbound tolls have been eliminated and some southbound have been eliminated. Depending where on the GSP you are, it appears to alternate along the parkway.

Also, since I use exit 148 each day, I'm one of those that pays the 25 cents. Most people that exit there are traveling south from the exit towards E Orange, Newark, S. Bloomfield or Glen Ridge. Hoover and Watchung exits are fine if you live up that way but adding 10 to 15 minutes to your commute to save 25 cents isn't worth it to most people who are anxious to get home.

Posted by: Todd | Aug 29, 2005 9:25:10 AM

Essex County News

Essex Toll Plaza is now one-way pay

By Lauren DeFilippo, Staff Writer Wednesday, July 27, 2005 10:12 AM EDT

Photos by Joseph Sorrentino - A crowd gathered last week on the Parkway at the Essex Toll Plaza to watch the first demolition of the toll booths.
Commuters traveling along the Garden State Parkway in Essex County can now shave a few minutes off of their travel time.

Last week, acting Gov. Richard Codey announced that the demolition of the Essex Toll Plaza booths on the northbound side of the roadway would be taking place two years ahead of schedule.

"One-way tolls are redefining the driving experience for thousands of commuters and vacationers in New Jersey," Codey said in a prepared statement.

Executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Michael Lapolla, who was on hand for Wednesday's event, said that the decision to speed up the Essex Plaza project came from the governor.

He had asked which projects we could expedite, Lapolla noted, and said that the Essex Plaza came to the top of the list.

"There is no reason drivers should have to wait years and years for traffic relief in the form of one-way tolls or Express E-ZPass," Codey said in a prepared statement. "And, in the past few months we have accelerated the timelines to bring these initiatives to more toll plazas years ahead of schedule."

Lapolla also said that plazas are selected based on wherever the Turnpike Authority can do so without causing too much of a traffic disturbance.

"Some areas are more difficult than others," he said.

Also in the Essex Plaza's favor was the fact that the state Department of Transportation had its own construction project planned nearby in the coming months, Lapolla said.

"We didn't want to have construction going on at the same time," he said.

According to Lapolla, once all the toll booths are removed, the actual road surface will be regraded.

Lapolla said that regrading the road is important because roads are crafted differently in areas where you want travelers to slow down and areas where you do not.

The project, which Lapolla estimates will cost about $4 million, was awarded to an outside contractor.

The work is slated for completion in three months, he said.

Lapolla also said that he is hopeful that the quicker passage through the plaza by way of one-way tolling and express E-ZPass will help travelers make their way through traffic congestion more easily.

"We've gotten a tremendous response," Lapolla said of the one-way tolling initiative.

In fact, he said that last week the project gained rave reviews from passers-by who honked their horns in enthusiastic appreciation, as opposed to frustration or inappropriate hand gestures.

The Essex Plaza is the fourth Parkway toll plaza to undergo the alterations.

The Union, Raritan and Asbury Park plazas were completed earlier this year.

Prior to the summer of 2006, Lapolla said that Bergen, Cape May, New Gretna, and Great Egg Plazas are also slated to be completed.

Posted by: lurkerlady | Aug 29, 2005 12:25:44 PM

well i guess it all depends on where you're going. would you rather spend 25cents for toll or waste 25cents worth of precious gas?

Posted by: ohman | Aug 29, 2005 11:21:04 PM

It might depend on whether you want to swing by the new fruit-and-vegetable store at Watchung & Broad.

Posted by: Chris | Aug 30, 2005 7:07:48 PM

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