Traffic Down on Turnpike and Parkway [POLL/AUDIO]
Mother Nature has put a damper on the traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.
Traffic was down slightly on the two major toll roads for the first half of 2013 by 1.7 percent on the Turnpike and 1.2 percent on the Parkway.
The reason? Two major winter storms and the wettest June on record.
"Traffic is weather dependent and it's down very slightly so far this year," said Tom Feeney, spokesperson for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. "We had a very rainy June and a couple more snowstorms this February than we did in February of 2012. Fewer people drive in the snow. If there's rain on a summer weekend, fewer people head to the shore or to any other vacation spot for that matter. Plus, there was an extra day last year because it was a leap year, so that added to the decline as well."
Reimbursements from toll violators have helped to offset the declines.
"We have gotten some revenue from the toll violators, but frankly, that program is more about holding people accountable than it is about generating additional revenue. About 99.9 percent of people who drive on New Jersey roadways pay their tolls whether they like it or not, and it's not fair to them to let a small fraction of people get away with not paying. That's really what that program is about," said Feeney.