The 5 worst stretches of the Garden State Parkway
For many residents, it's the main artery between the Shore and the rest of New Jersey, whether North or South. While the Garden State Parkway has indeed made many improvements over the last few years in particular, there are still stretches of the roadway that can lead to white-knuckle rides.
If you don't need to get off the roadway at Exit 82 or Exit 81, stay out of the right lane at all costs, and it's probably a good idea to even avoid the middle lane.
Between people getting on the Parkway from Route 37, and trying to hop off to get to points east in Toms River, with mere feet to allow this to happen it can be a delicate dance at 82.
This is one of the most notorious congestion spots in the summer, as weekenders bound for Belmar and Point Pleasant peel off to the right, and those bound for Seaside, LBI, or other beaches further south cram to the left.
The highway also has a number of steep upgrades, tight corners, and non-existent shoulders in this area. Passing slower motorists or being overtaken by speeders can be a scary proposition along this stretch.
Credit where it's due, this area has gotten better since a new lane pattern has been instituted to keep people from flying across 4 lanes of traffic to either get into or out of the Express lanes.
It's not perfect though. There are still plenty of drivers who apparently realize at the last minute possible that they they don't have an EZ-Pass transponder and make a last ditch effort to bail over to the booths.
I feel like this whole stretch, from 109 all the way to the Local/Express merge is a white knuckle ride if you're taking the Express lanes.
It's another stretch of very winding terrain and no shoulders to speak of. Plus, before you hit the meeting of the lanes, you have a high speed merge of traffic coming off of Route 36, along with no shoulders to speak of.
All of it, all the time.