Go Around!

Posted on November 12, 2009 by

Northeast

The thing we’ve noticed about the East Coast is that they love their Turnpikes. Toll roads. Whatever. You can’t avoid them. They are everywhere. Nowhere else in the country do people have to pay to drive on what is deliberately named a freeway. Anyway, we took the Turnpike down to DC. It probably cost $20 by the end of the day, $2.85 at a time.

Back at the beginning of the trip, we went to the Busfest in Vallejo, CA on our way out of town. I took a picture of a cool bus sporting a sticker that said “Why are you still behind me? Go around!” Since we were transitioning to a new slower lifestyle, I made a comment on the blog that we needed one of these on our bus. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, only a few days later I got an email from the guy who designed it, Raul. It turns out it’s not a sticker – it’s a magnet! It also turns out he wants me to have it and ships it out ASAP!  The problem is that it took us a while to coordinate shipping logistics via my father, so we just got it in New Jersey, almost three months later. Just in time for the Turnpike.

Driving the bus on the Jersey Turnpike is not, ummmm…. enjoyable. We survived, and even had a few people slow down beside us and mouth a few comments over to us. We think they were encouraging words – really. One of them was a Westy Vanagon, the first VW bus of any kind we’ve seen since Wyoming – a long drought.

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Filed Under: Northeast

Comments (12)

 

  1. whc03grady says:

    I think they’re called “freeways” because they don’t have cross-traffic, i.e., at-grade intersections. The irony for me was driving on “freeways” in SoCal that had a thousand lanes in each direction but traffic that moved at <5mph.

    (Late) happy b.d. to Angela!

    Alright,
    whc03grady.

  2. Melissa says:

    Wow, only one other VW bus. That’s hard to imagine!

  3. THE Raul says:

    Hope the sign keeps tailgaters away! Have a safe trip.

  4. Taylor says:

    I just posted this on Raul’s facebook page…he’ll be excited to see you have it now! :D Safe travels and get out of those cities!

  5. Taylor says:

    Oh…LOL…he has seen this. *facepalm*

  6. julie says:

    they make you to to visit new jersey beaches well. uh, no thank you.

  7. julie says:

    oops typo above – they make you PAY to to visit new jersey beaches well. uh, no thank you.

  8. julie says:

    too too many typos. i need another beer.

  9. Spaulding Smails says:

    Gotta love the New Jersey jughandles and no left turns.

  10. Chris says:

    A bit of a primer on the history of toll roads in the NE – most of these roads were built by state agencies and were constructed or in the planning stages by the time of enactment of the Interstate Hwy bill in 1956. The first was the PA Turnpike (1940) followed by the Maine Turnpike (1947). I believe the NJ turnpike opened in 1952. The tolls were used to pay off bonds sold to finance construction and for ongoing maintenance. Tolls were actually elminated on the CT turnkpike in the 80s although there’s talk of bringing them back. The interstate designations came after many of these roads were built, and in many states there are free interstate highways that parallel the turnpikes – I-80 in PA and I-70 in OH and IN for example. You can actually get from NY to Washington without toll turnpikes by taking I-78 west to I-83 south into Baltimore. Once you reach the southeast, you won’t see as many toll roads, although there are a few urban tollways in Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.

    The term freeway is really a CA term, and isn’t widely used in the northeast. Most free limited access highways are called expressways (Brooklyn Queens Expway, Long Island Expway) and toll roads are called turnpikes.

    I’d give you some suggestions on where to stop for killer cheesesteaks in Philly, but it sounds like you’re already through there. Sorry you guys didn’t make it to the Corn Exchange, but I definitely know of the need to keep clear of storms in that part of the country.

    Chris

  11. Greg U says:

    It’s a shame you guys didn’t take the Eastern Shore of Maryland route, instead of I-95, from Delaware to DC. I-95 is horrid, and US-301 is a *much* nicer ride, especially in a bus.

  12. jason says:

    i totally agree. this is the problem with not knowing what you are doing ;)

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