Ugh! Traffic! As New Jerseyans, many of us are all too familiar with the nuisance. The average commute time for New Jersey residents is 30.9 minutes, 25% higher than the rest of the nation. Commuters in Sussex, Monmouth and Mercer counties have it the worst, with 1 in 3 facing an average commute time of an hour or more! There are certain spots that are best avoided, especially during rush hour – here are 15. Please note that the photos are representative of the highway or general area, but not necessarily the specific spots mentioned. This article uses data from INRIX, a popular traffic tracking app, along with empirical data.
1. Route 17, between Rochelle Park and Paramus
I like to refer to this as "mall traffic," but I'm not certain exactly what causes it. I am sure the many malls in the area are a factor, along with the limited number of lanes. Pictured is Route 17, but further south, where it meets route 3.
2. I-295 in Camden County
Specifically, where the road connects with connects with I-76 and NJ Route 42. To make matters worse, there has been ongoing construction at the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Pictured is I-295 in Hamilton.
3. I-80/95 near the George Washington Bridge
The traffic here is terrible, especially after 9/11 and the ban on trucks using the upper level.
4. I-495 near the Lincoln Tunnel
Where a mile long stretch can add 45 minutes to your commute. Your best bet is taking the ferry, but at least this backup will provide you stunning views of New York City. According to ABC News, this area has one of the worst bottlenecks in the nation. The above photo was taken in 1955.
5. NJ-21 & I-280 near Newark
Why does !-280 drop a lane as it heads into one of New Jersey's largest cities? I'll never know. The above photo of NJ 21 was taken near Belleville, before the worst parts of the backup.
6. I-76 near the Walt Whitman Bridge
Commuters in and out of Pennsylvania get stuck at this spot during rush hour each day.
7. I-287 from Piscataway to Edison
Not only is the traffic terrible, but this is a common spot for accidents. I-287 near Piscataway is pictured.
8. Garden State Parkway between exits 142-145
The entire parkway can get pretty rough at rush hour, but according to INRIX, the area between the Union and Essex toll plazas is the worst traffic corridor in the state. The above photo features the GSP near Wall.
9. US-22, east of I-287
US-22 runs from Cincinnati, Ohio to Newark, New Jersey, mostly without incident. There are some spots however, that get seriously backed up. Worst on the western side, problem areas include Union, Springfield and Newark. The above photo was taken in Bloomsbury.
10. US Route 30 near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Camden-area commuters are all too familiar with the rush hour traffic by the bridge.
11. US Route 1 between Plainsboro and New Brunswick
Almost this entire road can be awful (Hudson County!) but this spot is statistically the worst. It's definitely due, in part, to all the traffic lights. The above photo was taken in Jersey City near the Pulaski Skyway, another major traffic offender.
12. Shore traffic, Routes 34/35/37/47/72
You can be sure you'll hit shore traffic on these highways during the summer. Route 72 to LBI is one of the worst offenders. Pictured is Route 35 near Point Pleasant.
13. New Jersey Turnpike near Exit 8A
I'm very familiar with this stretch of road and know that it can be a nightmare - along with the rest of the Turnpike. This photo was taken in 1992, in the days before E-ZPass.
14. NJ-73 near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge
Though this bridge may not have as much auto traffic as nearby bridges like the Benjamin Franklin, you'll still find traffic backups here - it is a working drawbridge.
What other New Jersey spots are consistently backed up with traffic? Add to this list and, if you’re feeling generous, feel free to add your favorite shortcuts and alternate routes.