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New Jersey Turnpike

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1:
Other things about the New Jersey Turnpike can go here. It doesn't have to be related to my post, but it does have to be related to the New Jersey Turnpike.

I was just on the New Jersey Turnpike today (exit 16E -> exit 4), and there were some strange things. Here are some questions I have.

1. Why Exit 15X? What does the X mean?

2. At one point, the speed limit was 35. There was traffic, too. If the speed limit had been 65, as normal, there would have been much less traffic!

3. Why are there separate sets of lanes? It can't just be 5 lanes in each direction normally?

4. What's with all the unused lanes on the side?

SteveG1988:

--- Quote from: 1 on December 22, 2013, 09:04:24 PM ---Other things about the New Jersey Turnpike can go here. It doesn't have to be related to my post, but it does have to be related to the New Jersey Turnpike.

I was just on the New Jersey Turnpike today (exit 16E -> exit 4), and there were some strange things. Here are some questions I have.

1. Why Exit 15X? What does the X mean?

2. At one point, the speed limit was 35. There was traffic, too. If the speed limit had been 65, as normal, there would have been much less traffic!

3. Why are there separate sets of lanes? It can't just be 5 lanes in each direction normally?

4. What's with all the unused lanes on the side?

--- End quote ---

i can answer 3 and 4

3: There is a section that is being rebuilt between 6 and 8A where they're extending the truck lanes, north of there there is also a section where the lanes are abandoned due to a similar project, several decades ago.

4: Safety

Alps:
Ignore Steve G's answers.

1. X is for eXchange, it was built for the train station. 15AE was another possibility. (15A, for some reason, wasn't.)
2. The speed limit was 35 for a reason. I'm sure that same reason caused the traffic. If an accident causes congestion, the SL drops in advance of the accident, so that you're going slowly before you hit the rear of the backup. Once the congestion clears, the SL goes back to what it was. Sound traffic engineering policy.
3. I've asked this same question - instead of 3/3/3/3, you could fit 7/7 or even 8/8. The reason is that above at most 4 lanes, traffic flow is no longer nearly as efficient. A single 7 lane road doesn't do much better than a 3/3 divided road. You have to move all the way to the right to get to your exit, and traffic would weave all over the place (drive the Parkway at 6/6 for an idea of what it's like). It also lets cars be separated from trucks if they so choose, which many drivers prefer.
4. Interchange 6-8A widening.

SignBridge:
I agree with Steve. Having 6 lanes across with mixed vehicle types would be unnerving as is the Parkway south of the Raritan River Bridge. Or maybe I'm just getting too old for this! Hope not!

KEVIN_224:
It sounds like the original poster was on a bus from the Port Authority to Philadelphia. I've done the route from Exit 16E in Secaucus to Exit 4 in Mount Laurel countless times myself. I have yet to take Exit 15X for the transfer station.

The one set of unused lanes which always piqued my interest was a (roughly) one-mile stretch near a northbound rest stop, somewhere between Mansfield (Exit 6) and New Brunswick (Exit 9).

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