CAPE MAY, NJ – Whether New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway ends or begins at Exit 0 is a debate to be had another day. On the north end of the state’s 172-mile highway, the Garden State Parkway merges with the New York State Thruway at a modern highway interchange in lower New York State.
But have you ever wondered how the Garden State Parkway ends on the south end of the road? In recent years, there were actually stop lights on the park in lower Cape May County. Imagine stopping for a red light or three on the Parkway?
For those who have never traveled that far south on the road, the concept seems alien, but since it opened, there have been lights. That changed a few years ago when the state used federal funds to create overpasses and remove the three traffic lights that shocked many first-time travelers on the road.
There used to be traffic lights at exits 11, 10, and 9. The project to remove them started in 2012 and was completed by 2015. By then, there were no more traffic lights on the Parkway.
Or so the ‘official’ stance is.
There is indeed one last traffic light on the Garden State Parkway, and that’s how the 172-mile road ends…or begins depending upon your perspective. The light at Exit 0 remains. You can drive down the entire length of the parkway from New York State down to Cape May, and at the end of the road, you may have to actually stop for a red light.
While future generations won’t be able to experience stopping at a red light while traveling the parkway, you can still experience the red light at the end of the parkway.