Rt 206 in NJ?


Aug 23rd, 2011, 08:45 AM
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Rt 206 in NJ?

We usually take the same route when we travel from Virginia to Vermont: I-95, then the NJ Turnpike, Garden State Pkwy, I-87. Just for the heck of it, I got directions from google maps and was surprised that it gave me a different option: 95 through Philly, then Rt. 206 to 202 to I-287 to I-87.

The thought of skipping the turnpike and the parkway and maybe (hopefully) some congestion is appealing. How is 206? Is it stop-and-go, tons of stoplights, etc? Or is it maybe like the section of Rt 15 in PA we often take, which is mostly limited access divided highway?
dreamer320 is online now  
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 08:53 AM
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I think that has a lot of lights. I used to live in NJ and I think I took that road a few years ago through Princeton to Somerville. Have you considered going through Pennsylvania instead?
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:33 AM
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The northern portion is limited access. The southern portion has a lot of lights and strip malls/shopping centers. It's OK if the turnpike is backed up - other wise it's definitely slower.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Might cut some time off, but I think you could accomplish the same route by getting off the Turnpike at Exit 10, taking 440 West, which turns into 287.

If you're going to take the 287 Route, probably fastest to stay on the highways and avoid the lights and traffic that you can hit on 206.

It is a single-lane road for much of the route between Princeton and Raritan/The 202/206 Traffic circle.

One other option would be to get off the Turnpike at Exit 9 get onto Route 1 north then 18 past Rutgers. Again, you could do that but not sure it makes a lot of sense.

If you want to deviate from the route you've been taking, I think getting off at exit 10, to 440-West into 287 north gets you to the point where you pick up the NY State Thruway just north of Mahwah, NJ.

Probably less traffic this route than the GSP route. But, I've never mapped it so really not sure you're saving any distance.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:01 PM
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I don't know where in Virginia you start but if it is near Charlottsville, try this Rt 81 North thru Harrisburg continue to Wilkes Barre / Scranton PA then take 84 East to 87 in Newburgh.
Or if you come from Richmond area take 95 and 695 around Baltimore to 83 North thru York, PA to Harrisburg where you join 81 as above.
Lots of scenery and less traffic.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:07 PM
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I basically did that to go from Silver Spring MD to Western Mass - 83 to 81 to 84 (except I took the Taconic from 84). It was a really pretty ride (except Harrisburg no offense).
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:17 PM
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That's a route that I take to the Hudson Valley when the NJ Turnpike is busy. The time is about the same, the distance is about the same.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 12:34 PM
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BTW, if I figured it out correctly, getting off at exit 10 to 440 to 287 is about 10 miles longer than the route that takes the GSP.

But, the advantage is likely going to be a lot less traffic and a much easier ride than the GSP through Bergen county.

One other option to consider is 95 to Exit 11 of the NJ Turnpike, to the GSP. Instead of taking the GSP to 87/287 and cutting back west, get off the GSP in Paramus at 17 North. 17 North runs right into the NYS Thruway at Mahwah.

Problem with 17 north may be congestion on the part near Paramus. But, probably not worse than GSP.

I used to try different routes to Vermont and have probably taken every option that was possible from NY/NJ. The 95 route to 91 in Connecticut was the one that was the worst option.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 03:00 PM
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I live in NJ close to 206 and I avoid it at all costs. Too much traffic at almost any time of the day. I would use one of the other recommendations above.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Thirty years ago the route googlemaps gave you was a lovely drive through the country, and often the way I got back and forth from Northern NJ to college in Maryland. Over the years it has gotten more and more built up, and now is quite congested in places. I still go that way sometimes when I'm in the area (most recently a couple of months ago) but it's really not a way to avoid traffic any more; at certain times of day it's bearable. But then, at certain times of day 287 is practically a parking lot.

There is really no good way through New Jersey, but no good way around it either! Personally I would just stay on the Turnpike to get where you're going. If you are starting out in western VA the route up 81, to 84, to 87 is a good option.

The other way you could avoid NJ is to take 95 up to Chester, south of Philadelphia, and get on 476 North; take that up to 81 (briefly) near Scranton and then 84 to 87. It's longer than just going through NJ, though.
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Aug 23rd, 2011, 09:11 PM
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I haven't lived in NJ for decades, so I wouldn't begin to suggest the best route. On the rare occasions when I traverse NJ now, I just do the Turnpike thing. But if you do find yourself taking US-206, you might consider a stop to visit Princeton University, if you haven't seen it before. You'd be passing only a block away from it, but you'd never even know it, unless you kept going straight on Nassau Street (NJ-27) instead of turning left to continue on US-206.
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Aug 24th, 2011, 08:11 AM
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Thanks, all. I figured it was too good to be true! I'm coming from Richmond, so I-81 would go fairly well out of the way. We're really familiar with most of that route since that's how we travel to family in upstate NY.

I'll take a look at some of the other suggestions offered. We'll be traveling on a Saturday in early October, so at least we won't have summer traffic to deal with. Thanks again.
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