New Jersey Roads - Atlantic City Expressway
Secret NJ 446
The above photo, courtesy Lou Corsaro, is on Michigan Ave. heading NW at Atlantic Ave., where it becomes two-way.
There are so many things wrong here (eastbound), I'll have to categorize them.
1) Exit numbers decrease eastbound and increase westbound. It may be nice to have Exit 0 in Atlantic City, but the gimmick would go over better if the freeway were signed north-south.
2) The South Jersey Transportation Authority doesn't use the standard signs that the rest of the country uses. The Exit 41 BGS's are close, although the 689 appears to be too shy to get any closer to the "lou" in Gloucester.
3) The Exit 38 BGS's are also close, except for the centered exit tab and the borders being too rounded. Oh, and the square. County routes that go in a square: Wisconsin and Missouri, who both use lettered routes. Bergen County, NJ, whose white squares read BERGEN (number) COUNTY and are black on white. I don't see Gloucester on that list, and I sure don't see squares on the approved list of blue-and-gold county shields. Maybe the SJTA accidentally used the four-sided pentagon instead of the five-sided kind.
Westbound from the Garden State Parkway, all courtesy Scott Colbert. In addition to the eastbound goodies, we get a three-digit background for NJ 73 and another shy number in "322."
The end of WB Exit 9, with a non-standard shield at the bottom of the ramp.
Eastbound again, with the last photo courtesy John P. Nasiatka and coming to me via Doug Kerr. Notice the progression from two, to one, to zero Parkway shields, and from zero, to one, to three, to as many as four destinations. Except for the overall square shape, also notice that these signs have nothing in common. Nada. Zip. The first sign loves ampersands and has a medium font. The second photo's sign has no exit tabs, an extra hyphen, and seems to have switched its shields and arrows - there are two through lanes here! In the third photo, we come up to off-center, off-font badness that doesn't match the exit tab or even itself, and now the hyphen has invaded that top tab! Then lose the exit tab altogether. The final sign isn't any better, but at least drops the hyphen. And look, its exit tab is on the right, where it belongs, for once!
Again EB, last photo courtesy Scott Colbert. ACE signs are done by the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which also manages the Atlantic City International Airport (much bigger than the dying Bader Field - which is to be replaced in function by Hammonton). Apparently they're a little better at the airport side of things. Curious thought: the two SJTA roadways are the only incorrectly exit-numbered roadways in NJ. The ACE's numbers decrease west-east (in order to make the namesake city Mile 0), while the ACE Brigantine Connector's exits have letters instead of numbers (though NJDOT added those, for any reason except a good one).
The photo above and the next five (down to the Exit 1 sign) are courtesy Scott Colbert.
The reason I-76 can't be extended all the way to Atlantic City is because parking starts in the median east of Exit 5 and the barrier toll. Sure, you could think of it as a giant median rest area, but it would have to be one with casino buses regularly entering and exiting, and it's several miles long.
Amazingly square eastbound signage, with a stubborn refusal to use lowercase letters, a single font size, or a normal-looking arrow. It's all well and good that AC tries to separate visitors by area (with a list of casinos by area after that initial sign), but if UPTOWN's blue is barely distinguishable from the background blue, well, try picking out DOWNBEACH green from a standard green background.
This EB sign is new as of 2003, when the Brigantine Connector opened. You get a chance to see how misguided attraction color choices were (why not a white or a yellow?), and for some reason SJTA didn't think ahead to include the exit tab on the sign. I wonder what inches were supposed to appear to the right of the 14' (for the Connector's 2200-foot long tunnel) - 0"?
The rest of the photos are my own, from the heart of Atlantic City.
Call it Exit 0. More button copy on Missouri Ave., the EB counterpart to Arkansas Ave. It must be a pain to rearrange those tiny casino names if one were to close, get renamed, or newly open.
Atlantic Ave. NB at N. Arkansas Ave. (one-way WB to the ACE). Atlantic City has the only button-copy related to the ACE that I know of, which could have been erected by the city, county, or SJTA.
Atlantic Ave. SB, and Baltic Ave. SB, both at Arkansas Ave.
Arkansas Ave. WB at Baltic Ave; the Atlantic City Expressway begins at this traffic light if you go straight, but jogging left a block takes you northbound on the Connector.
Exit 1 onto the Brigantine Connector
Exit 2, 9, or 38 to US 322
Exit 2 to US 40
Exit 7 to the Garden State Parkway
Exit 9 to CR 646
Exit 31 to NJ 73
Exit 38 to Spur CR 536
Exit 41 to CR 689
The A.C.E. on Steve Anderson's phillyroads.com
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