Below are maps matching the Turnpike bottleneck with Parkway bottleneck theories 2 and 3 - see below the pictures for the theories. I drew straight to the Delaware River and Ocean from their dividing points and tried connecting them at even locations . . . but as always - you debate. Either email me or post a comment.
MANY people have theorized that North and South Jersey can be divided simply by looking at the bottlenecks on the Turnpike and Parkway. This is easy to do on the Turnpike - the truck and car lanes happen right around exit 8A in Cranbury. (Notice the traffic approaching this exit in the picture? Pretty typical). However, it is more problematic on the Parkway. Around its central part, it spilts 3 times. If you were going South, the 1st time is:
1) In Sayreville right after the Driscoll Bridge. It is where the parkway divides into express and local lanes. This is a BIG divider to people from North Jersey. But I will not use it here. This is because of the bridge's importance: it has its own theory entirely, which also includes the Raritan River.
2) In Tinton Falls around mile marker 104, where the Parkway bottlenecks for the 2nd time, this time losing the express lanes (remembering we're going South). If you look at the signs beforehand they actually do say - "SOUTH Jersey" (and NORTH Jersey if you were going North). There is really not a clearer sign marker in the state - the way it is written, it appears as if we're entering two different states.
3) In South Toms River, after exit 80, where the Parkway narrows once again, this time to only two lanes. If you get by this part without hitting traffic - you're home free - the rest of the Parkway should be a smooth ride (well except Friday nights and Sundays in the summer). Important note as well: The Pinelands National Reserve also begins right around this exit.
Sure they are talking about extending more lanes south of exit 8A on the Turnpike and putting more express EZ Pass lanes south of exit 80 on the Parkway - but for now - these are major dividing points because once you're south of them, traffic is easier. So next time you're making that drive, after you get past those bottlenecks - take a deep breath. You beat the traffic and just crossed into South Jersey if you're going by our "Bottleneck theory."