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As Rates Rise, NJ Drivers Avoiding Toll Roads

Toll plaza at Exit 77 of the Garden State Parkway (Dan Alexander/Townsquare Media NJ)

A 50 percent toll increase in New Jersey apparently has motorists seeking alternatives.The New Jersey Turnpike Authority says traffic on the state’s two major highways decreased in the first week of 2012 compared to a year ago.

Spokesman Tom Feeney says 70,000 fewer vehicles drove on the turnpike in the first five weekdays of the month. That’s nearly a 3 percent drop. More than 100,000 fewer vehicles traveled on the Garden State Parkway, a similar decrease.

However, Feeney tells The Record of Woodland Park that the Turnpike Authority actually projected a bigger drop in traffic when the toll raise went into effect.

The toll hikes are the second phase of a two-part increase approved in 2008 under then-Gov. Jon Corzine and are aimed at funding road and bridge projects.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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