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New Jersey Suburbs of Philadelphia Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Salem County in South Jersey
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:09 AM
 
608 posts, read 710,333 times
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There are four bridge authorities. The Delaware River Port Authority, the Burlington County Bridge Commission, the Delaware Bridge Commission and the NJ/PA turnpike. The DRPA runs the four major ones the Ben, Walt, Betsy, Barry. They were also the first.

The Burlington Country Bridge Commssion only operates the Tacony and the BBB. So they have less costs, also the BBB is really a one lane bridge that I think they built just for fun.

The Tacony used to be a nickel when the other bridges were a quarter. Then it "jumped" to a dime, then a quarter, etc.

People don't know this, but there are really only a few places where you can build bridges on the Delaware. The soil and rock underneath the water is very poor. They actually tried four times to get the placement of the Ben Franklin correct, because at the time, the rock was too unstable for construction.

At the time the Tacony and BBB went up, Burlington County was very populated. (Remember South Jersey started at its capital in present day Burlington City) The population has shifted southward into Camden County, but at the time there was a need for a river crossing in Burlington County.

The DRPA in its charter (which is still in effect) states that once the bridges are paid for, the commission must remove the tolls. This was an agreement reached between NJ and PA. The Ben Franklin almost did not get built. PA wanted the bridge to be free, and paid for by the state without the use of bonds. NJ wanted to float bonds and have it paid for by tolls. NJ was in the process of completing the Holland Tunnel, and they agreed with NY to float bonds and charge tolls so this was what they expected PA to do. Well the problem arose in the middle of the bridge construction, and they actually stopped building the bridge for 2 months. The two states actually sued each other and was heading to the supreme court. In the meantime, NJ had started to make plans to destroy their section of the bridge.

The impass was ended when it leaked out that the Ware political machine (they were a family who helped run the city of Philadelphia) were taking kickbacks from the construction companies contracted to build the bridge. In a kind of Tony Soprano mob type kick back scheme, money was being directed to the Ware family political organization. Well that changed everything, PA then had no choice but to start floating bonds and they agreed to create the DRPA and they agreed to tolls.

The irony is, that as soon as the Ben was built, DRPA realized they wouldn't be needed anymore unless they did something that required them to keep collecting tolls. So as soon as the Ben was built, they ordered a study into the idea of another river crossing at the southern part of the city. SO it has been DRPA's mission to keep finding projects, and to keep putting itself into debt, which is the only legal way they can collect tolls.

I only know all this garbage because I went to school at Rutgers, and had my final history thesis paper on this "crisis" of the bridge. At the time it was a huge deal, and a MAJOR reason why South Jersey was NOT developed until the bridge went up in the 1920s. Before the BEN, you had to ferry across which was annoying according to my grandfather. SO you had the third largest city in America, you are less than a mile away from it, and you can't get to it because their was no bridge. The only detour if you didnt want to take the ferry, was all the way up by Washington Crossing.
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:50 PM
 
1,985 posts, read 4,863,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQQ View Post
I drive up and down the east coast a lot. I have a passion for Geography and what always strikes me when going through NJ is how relatively "rural" and undeveloped South Jersey is.

As a kid when making the drive, I was surprised to learn that many people in NJ commute to Philly and actually root for/consider themselves part of the Philly area. I wasn't that naive, it's just when driving through the area you never really get that sense that you are in this metropolitan, highly developed area.

As my reference points, I spent a lot of time outside Washington D.C. in northern VA. Here, some 40 miles outside the city on I-66 it still is heavily developed, you know you are in the suburbs of a major market.
In fact, you can do a radius of 40+ miles in all directions of DC be it north/south/west...aside from SE...and be well developed.

I also spent a lot of time in the NY area, and once you get really past exit 8 in central NJ all the way up to Newburgh some 55 miles N of NY in NY state on the I-84 corridor you still feel like you are in the suburbs.

When driving through South Jersey, outside of exit 3 and 4 in Camden County...you would be stunned to know you are closer than 20 miles to a major, top market like Philly.
I just do not understand the lack of development and land use patterns for this region.
One would figure given how close you are to a top 10 market, and how flat the land is, that long ago South Jersey from Carney's Point through Trenton would be like Fairfax County, VA or Long Island, NY.

I am shocked when driving the NJTP to realize that at the PATP (exit 6 in Mansfield) you are MAYBE 30 miles from Philly.
It is just as surprising to be driving by exit 2 and see how undeveloped it is despite you being 20 miles or so from Philly, I just do not understand.

Yes, in recent years I have seen apartments and home spring up.
Still though this is relatively little and quite recent compared to areas that are a similar distance outside NY and DC (and DC is a similar market in size).

So I'd like to ask, why is this the case that for a market Philly's size, an area with such close proximity as South Jersey is really not built up like similar hinterlands are outside of NY or DC.
How come when crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, it instantly feels a lot more isolated even though you are 30+ miles from a top ten market?

I know the NJTP is a long distance road, but still, even with it being a bypass...you can look at any population density or roadgrid map..and see that compared to other major markets, it is really odd to have flat land in such vicinity to be this relatively lightly built.
Burlington County, NJ is right around the top in the nation with the number of acres of preserved open space. BC is also the largest county in NJ by land mass. Much of it cannot be developed. The Pinelands in South Jersey is the largest state park in NJ, it is also preserved, along with much of the surrounding area. The largest township in NJ is Cherry Hill, in the Philly area. That area is as congested as any area in Northern NJ. Much of Northwestern NJ is not developed, it's much more rural and isolated up there than most of South Jersey.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:46 PM
 
18 posts, read 25,880 times
Reputation: 21
Default Wow! Glad to hear nj still a garden!

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankgn87 View Post
I consider the 'undeveloped' part of South Jersey a plus..
WOW! I left South Jersey in the late 60s and had been told it is all "built up" now.
So glad to know it is not.
I have been in LA for five years
and came to stay here upon my return from many years abroad in the United Kingdom.
LA
is a nightmare.
I am thinking I should come home to the land of tastykakes!
Cheese steaks!
and proper Italian pizza
and submarine sandwiches
made by proper Italians.
After five years in LA,
I am definitely looking for a conservative
but not snobby area. Many thanks.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,785 posts, read 10,452,198 times
Reputation: 2152
whoa whoa whoa... Its hoagies, NOT submarines!

You have been away too long, my friend!


Quote:
Originally Posted by frances john View Post
WOW! I left South Jersey in the late 60s and had been told it is all "built up" now.
So glad to know it is not.
I have been in LA for five years
and came to stay here upon my return from many years abroad in the United Kingdom.
LA
is a nightmare.
I am thinking I should come home to the land of tastykakes!
Cheese steaks!
and proper Italian pizza
and submarine sandwiches
made by proper Italians.
After five years in LA,
I am definitely looking for a conservative
but not snobby area. Many thanks.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:25 PM
 
61 posts, read 54,087 times
Reputation: 60
Part of the reason is that the state made an active effort to preserve the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. Apparently there was a trade-off, allowing 30,000(!) new homes to be built in the counties near Atlantic City, in exchange for keeping the Pine Barrens undeveloped. This will be horrible, making the entire top half of the state an overcrowded mess of traffic and stressed resources.

NJ also had an "open space" policy designed to preserve as much farmland as possible, and other policies designed to protect historical properties which were so rigid they caused some places to simply be abandoned and undeveloped.

All of these policies helped keep South Jersey nice and green. And the state is great at keeping the roads there in top shape. The development overall is exactly the opposite of Southern California, where nearly all the natural beauty has been destroyed and the roads are a pathetic mess.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:06 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
13,146 posts, read 13,178,368 times
Reputation: 4397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban Spaceman View Post
Part of the reason is that the state made an active effort to preserve the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. Apparently there was a trade-off, allowing 30,000(!) new homes to be built in the counties near Atlantic City, in exchange for keeping the Pine Barrens undeveloped. This will be horrible, making the entire top half of the state an overcrowded mess of traffic and stressed resources.

NJ also had an "open space" policy designed to preserve as much farmland as possible, and other policies designed to protect historical properties which were so rigid they caused some places to simply be abandoned and undeveloped.

All of these policies helped keep South Jersey nice and green. And the state is great at keeping the roads there in top shape. The development overall is exactly the opposite of Southern California, where nearly all the natural beauty has been destroyed and the roads are a pathetic mess.
Try driving on Rt 70 through Cherry Hill, then report on the condition of the roads.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:36 PM
 
1,608 posts, read 2,230,311 times
Reputation: 563
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Try driving on Rt 70 through Cherry Hill, then report on the condition of the roads.
Try driving on ANY of the roads.
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Old 09-20-2010, 09:54 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
13,146 posts, read 13,178,368 times
Reputation: 4397
Quote:
Originally Posted by jknic View Post
Try driving on ANY of the roads.
I know, but when I was up there a couple of weeks ago I noticed that the roads had all gone to hell in a handbasket. Then I got on 70 & my God it was horrible!
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:19 PM
 
Location: North Brunswick
877 posts, read 1,579,939 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
I know, but when I was up there a couple of weeks ago I noticed that the roads had all gone to hell in a handbasket. Then I got on 70 & my God it was horrible!
Was there yesterday. Ellisburg area is actually starting to look a bit rundown. Lots of vacant shopping centers as Brace Rd hits 70. Really kind of a shame.

I actually thought every road around there was unusually dead yesterday, including Rt 70, which was a breeze compared to how it usually is when I've driven it in the past. Such a nice day everyone probably went to the beach because they knew it'd probably be the last chance they'd get this summer.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
13,146 posts, read 13,178,368 times
Reputation: 4397
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoelsebutcharles View Post
Was there yesterday. Ellisburg area is actually starting to look a bit rundown. Lots of vacant shopping centers as Brace Rd hits 70. Really kind of a shame.

I actually thought every road around there was unusually dead yesterday, including Rt 70, which was a breeze compared to how it usually is when I've driven it in the past. Such a nice day everyone probably went to the beach because they knew it'd probably be the last chance they'd get this summer.
Ellisburg is sad. The state had originally slated everything to pretty much be the same when they cut out the circle, except Ponzios was going to go. The then-mayor insisted that they save Ponzios, so everything else on the south-side of 70 got fouled up.

I'm sure that the next time I'm there, the old Garwoods/Dales/Pathmark building will be gone & replaced by something else. I see CVS is going across the street, but will they rip down the old Lits building & build their own, or revamp that building? Who knows?
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