Pennsylvania Roads - US 202 - N. of Norristown

US 202 north of Norristown

NB widening in advance of the new 202 Parkway and its beginning near PA 63, courtesy Lou Corsaro. US 202 curved left here, making it the perfect place to start the parkway. US 202 was originally proposed to continue the freeway from US 422/I-76/I-276 in King of Prussia north around Bridgeport and Norristown, along this new parkway alignment, into the Doylestown bypass, and on the NJ freeway section. The Doylestown bypass opened in 1976, and for decades was the only piece of freeway between KOP and NJ on a road that badly needed something, if not a full freeway. Well, the parkway is "something", better than nothing but not a true fix. It was a compromise to get anything built in the right-of-way at all after years of residential NIMBYism, but a 2-lane winding road with traffic lights doesn't do a whole lot to bypass a 2-lane straight road with traffic lights, especially when there are other 2-lane straight roads with fewer traffic lights on either side. The greatest improvement is at PA 309, eliminating the concurrency there (see link at bottom).

The December 8, 2012 Doylestown Meet brought us to the December 3, 2012 US 202 Parkway. Instead of having a four-lane freeway, it has a two-lane expressway with a trail.

The old freeway's concrete may still end in a stub, but traffic can now drive over it legally and continue on south. As I follow the new US 202 SB, you can see the trail alreay in use, bridges that can never accommodate a widening, one that could if that dangblasted trail wasn't so important, and a ludicrously brief median that was literally only put in to convey the impression of being a parkway. Oh, and to reinforce the absurd 40 mph speed limit. If not for intentional design features, the road could easily support 55 mph, since it's on an alignment intended for a freeway.

I also found this sign toward the southern end of the bypass. It would actually be better situated on the opposite side of the road, to minimize confusion for right lane travelers who stop later and to avoid it being blocked by a tall van.

Turning the clock back pre-parkway, looking at the NB lanes' stub at the western end of the Doylestown freeway.

Perspectives of the SB lanes and the whole stub.

The would-be PA 611 NB loop ramp to US 202 SB comes in from the right, but there's barely any freeway to merge into. The other end of this ramp is blocked by debris, so it's paved for nothing.

As I loop from US 202 SB to PA 611 SB, here is the would-be PA 611 SB ramp to US 202 SB.

The SB signage, original to the bypass in 1976. Clearly, the 202 tab wasn't tacked on (nor advance sign placed) until it became clear the stub end of the freeway would remain for the foreseeable future, as it both is lighter green and has a shield.

The only NB button copy on the freeway and the corresponding merge.

Staring down the SB lanes of the eastern stub. Like a lot of Pennsylvania SR and US bypasses, this freeway stops short, routing US 202 mile back to its old alignment

The NB offramp that now carries US 202.

Looking westward, i.e. at the SB merge with what is now US 202 SB.

One last set of Bypass photos from the eastern stub, as I leave the roadway NB.

US 202 NB on the short freeway entering NJ that would have connected west to the Doylestown Bypass, and the offbeat replacement sign. There is no stub to speak of on this freeway.

PA 611 and US 202/PA 611
Back south on US 202
Onto US 322 alone

PA 309 and former US 202/PA 309
PA 152 and former US 202/PA 152
PA 179, former US 202
Back to US 202 main page

Into New Jersey on US 202
To PA 32
Back to the Doylestown Road Meet page
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