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Author Topic: New Jersey Turnpike  (Read 826806 times)

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New Jersey Turnpike
« 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?
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SteveG1988

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 09:19:52 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?

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
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 09:54:57 PM »

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.

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 09:15:27 PM »

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!
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 09:35:09 PM »

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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1995hoo

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 09:42:15 PM »

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).

That's between Exit 8A and Exit 9 near the Joyce Kilmer service area. The abandoned lanes are there from when they extended the "dual-dual" setup south from its former terminus at Exit 9 (if memory serves, the construction took place in the late 1980s). Because the Turnpike provides access to the service areas and interchanges from both carriageways, they had to build a flyover ramp at each end. The abandoned pavement there is left over from before the widening.
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 09:42:38 PM »

I believe that's the set of lanes that I read is used for State Police training. How to do car stops, set-up at accident scenes, etc.
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2013, 11:34:18 PM »

@1995HOO: Yep! That's where those lanes are! It looks like a testing area for line striping and what not as well. As for when the dual-dual was extended southward, I'd definitely say the end of the 1980s. My first time on the New Jersey Turnpike was Friday, August 25, 1989. I distinctly remember the construction was well underway on both sides of the road...and that we stopped at a rest stop in Cherry Hill soon afterwards (on an escorted weekend tour to Washington DC, with our hotel in Arlington, VA).
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bzakharin

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 02:35:21 PM »

I always figured the X in 15X was the next letter after W. If they ever build another exit in that area and call it 15Y, I wouldn't be surprised. 15A would be really weird. Are there any places on any freeway where they needed to add another exit after E and W or N and S pairs? If so, what was it numbered?
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KEVIN_224

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 03:00:16 PM »

I think the "X" in this case is referencing a cross or transfer, hence the Lautenburg Transfer Station at that exit.
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 04:33:14 PM »

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.)

I've never heard X was for eXchange.  I've heard 15EX to maintain the E for Easterly, which is why the giant space exists between the exit number and the distance on the guide signs.  But as this tidbit confirms, the X was for a criss-cross made up by a politically appointed Executive Director lawyer-type whom must have thought that he had a background in transportation.

http://www.graveinfo.com/NJ/Secaucus/hcbg/news/JJ050703.html
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jeffandnicole

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2013, 04:37:24 PM »

They could've given it "Exit15FrankLautenburg" for the money he sucked from the state (and country) for his pet projects, including that transfer station.  Part of the project was a high-rise office building over the station that never got built.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 05:48:03 PM by jeffandnicole »
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 05:27:09 PM »

http://www.graveinfo.com/NJ/Secaucus/hcbg/news/JJ050703.html
Quote
"No one can identify any other roads with an X in the exit number. None at all," said Travis Johnson, information services manager at the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, whose members include 119 toll agencies from around the world. "You see things like exit 35A, but X is rare, if entirely unknown."

Ahem.


from http://www.okroads.com/guides/mo/i35.html
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2013, 05:47:45 PM »

Hell, within his own club of toll agencies he can talk to Florida's Turnpike Authority for a counterexample.
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Alps

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 07:04:59 PM »

I always figured the X in 15X was the next letter after W. If they ever build another exit in that area and call it 15Y, I wouldn't be surprised. 15A would be really weird. Are there any places on any freeway where they needed to add another exit after E and W or N and S pairs? If so, what was it numbered?
New York has used A in places like the Meadowbrook (M3AW, M3AE, just to be awesome).

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 07:35:19 PM »

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.


Is the speed limit reduced (or increased) by computer or does a human being in the Turnpike's control center have to do something to change it?
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Alps

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2013, 08:52:36 PM »

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.


Is the speed limit reduced (or increased) by computer or does a human being in the Turnpike's control center have to do something to change it?
It's all coordinated through the State Transportation Management Center, with human beings. There are protocols in place, but you have to have a human observing to make the decisions.

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2013, 10:42:38 AM »

I always figured the X in 15X was the next letter after W. If they ever build another exit in that area and call it 15Y, I wouldn't be surprised. 15A would be really weird. Are there any places on any freeway where they needed to add another exit after E and W or N and S pairs? If so, what was it numbered?
New York has used A in places like the Meadowbrook (M3AW, M3AE, just to be awesome).

Since when does the Meadowbrook Parkway have exits M3AW and M3AE?  Maybe you're thinking of the Southern Parkway with exits 28AN and 28AS.  That's the only place where I'm aware of a double letter suffix.
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Alps

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2013, 11:30:42 AM »

I always figured the X in 15X was the next letter after W. If they ever build another exit in that area and call it 15Y, I wouldn't be surprised. 15A would be really weird. Are there any places on any freeway where they needed to add another exit after E and W or N and S pairs? If so, what was it numbered?
New York has used A in places like the Meadowbrook (M3AW, M3AE, just to be awesome).

Since when does the Meadowbrook Parkway have exits M3AW and M3AE?  Maybe you're thinking of the Southern Parkway with exits 28AN and 28AS.  That's the only place where I'm aware of a double letter suffix.
No, I was thinking of a different parkway - SM3W, SM3E, SM3A. I had most of the letters right!

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2013, 11:34:13 AM »

No, I was thinking of a different parkway - SM3W, SM3E, SM3A. I had most of the letters right!

Those EXIT gore signs... what the actual fuck? Might as well as use Series B to cram everything into the sign. Love the use of an upside down 'M' for 'W'. (I was kidding.)
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2013, 11:37:39 AM »

More like Skunken Meadow State Parkway: Exit SM3LL.
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2013, 03:58:41 PM »

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.


Is the speed limit reduced (or increased) by computer or does a human being in the Turnpike's control center have to do something to change it?
It's all coordinated through the State Transportation Management Center, with human beings. There are protocols in place, but you have to have a human observing to make the decisions.

But 35!?  I remember seeing that last month, and all I could think was, "Surely you can't be serious!"  Does anyone at the NJTA even expect people to slow down to below 55?  I seem to remember traffic going closer to 65 when I saw that 35 zone.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the old-school variable speed limits only drop from 65 to 45 when there was a "REDUCE SPEED" condition?
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2013, 06:24:48 PM »

Quote
Surely you can't be serious!
Don't call him Shirley

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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2013, 07:15:45 PM »

"There's a problem on the turnpike."

"The turnpike?  What is it?"

"It's a big road that runs through NJ, but that's not important right now."
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Re: New Jersey Turnpike
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2013, 08:37:33 PM »

Well, what the Turnpike is actually is important right now, 'cause that's what this thread is about, right? And how do you know his name isn't Shirley? Also let's not forget that nice lady June Cleaver, who learned to speak Jive later in life, in time for her to take an important Airplane flight! LOL LOL

And while we're off-topic I also gotta comment that those NYSDOT engineers must have been smoking something when they numbered those Sagtikos and Southern State Parkway exits. Ya' really hafta wonder when NYSDOT is going to get its act together and number exits on Long Island according to the MUTCD.

And now back to the NJ Turnpike.
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