Stepping up its game: Your Garden State Parkway rest area just got more Jersey

Rate this post

Stepping up its game: Your Garden State Parkway rest area just got more Jersey

Step aside, Molly Pitcher, Alexander Hamilton, Joyce Kilmer, Thomas Edison and all the other names for rest areas along the New Jersey Turnpike. The Garden State Parkway is stepping up its game.

Jon Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, James Gandolfini and six other notable Jersey stars will grace rest stops along the parkway with their own showcases for those needing a stretch in between traffic jams, a snack while heading down the shore or just, um, a little relief.

The rest stops, which typically have convenience stores, fast food and gas stations, will also receive displays about each person. So along with your coffee, Auntie Anne’s pretzel and full tank of gas, you can learn about Gandolfini’s life, take a selfie with an image of Bon Jovi or learn about Houston’s Newark roots.

This is all courtesy of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, which is in charge of the displays. The exhibits will include posters designed by New Jersey architect Michael Graves.

(Think Hard Rock Cafe style, not the Howard Stern Rest Stop of Jersey folklore.)

Here are the service areas that will receive the celebrity treatment, representing actors, singers, authors, a TV anchor and an athlete who hail from New Jersey:

  • Montvale: James Gandolfini Service Area
  • Brookdale North: Larry Doby Service Area
  • Brookdale South: Connie Chung Service Area
  • Vauxhall: Whitney Houston Service Area
  • Cheesequake: Jon Bon Jovi Service Area
  • Monmouth: Judy Blume Service Area
  • Forked River: Celia Cruz Service Area
  • Atlantic: Frank Sinatra Service Area
  • Ocean View: Toni Morrison Service Area

“Millions of New Jersey drivers travel on the Garden State Parkway every day,” said Transportation Commissioner Diane Scaccetti-Gutierrez, who oversees the Turnpike Authority, which approved the titles at Tuesday’s board meeting. “The service areas they visit during those travels are a fitting place to call attention to the accomplishments of their fellow New Jerseyans in the arts, entertainment, and sports.”

But how can such news — on National New Jersey Day, of all days — come with such a glaring omission?

What about Bruce Springsteen?

Where is the Bruce Springsteen Service Area that constituents will surely demand?

“Bruce Springsteen respectfully declined to have a service area named after him,” said New Jersey Hall of Fame spokeswoman Natasha Alagarasan. “It should be noted, though, that Bruce has been very supportive of the New Jersey Hall of Fame over the years, and is very much a part of the fabric of the Hall.”

In the meantime, there’s always “the dark side of Route 88.”

Colleen Wilson covers the Port Authority and NJ Transit for For unlimited access to her work covering the region’s transportation systems and how they affect your commute, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.


Twitter: @colleenallreds

You are viewing this post: Stepping up its game: Your Garden State Parkway rest area just got more Jersey. Information curated and compiled by along with other related topics.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here