The New Jersey Turnpike Authority is finally asking for the public's input for plans to reconfigure the the interchange at the service area that will be officially marked as exit 41.  A public hearing... on the matter will be held at Galloway City Hall on Wednesday,August 22nd from 4-7p.m.

This comes months after a decision was made to close direct access to the Atlantic City Service Area from Jimmie Leeds Road once the new exit is constructed.

The Turnpike Authority argument:

The idea is to have a more typical interchange where motorists would only have access to the rest stop from the the Garden State Parkway.  You would now enter and exit the Parkway directly on to Jimmy Leeds Road.  Galloway is presently the only spot on the GSP where you have direct access to a local road.

Engineers from the Garden State Parkway Authority have said there won't be any safe way to connect  directly to the rest stop from Jimmy Leeds Road after the construction.  Secondly,  NJ.  State Police, who are building a new $7 million barracks at the rest stop,  say they want the access closed for security reasons.

The Locals argument:

Many commuters say they'll miss using the rest stop as a park and ride.  Locals have become accustomed to using the rest stop as a short cut to Stockton college, AtlantiCare Mainland and scores of businesses close-by and like present configuration of the rest stop.   They were also upset at being previously shut out of the highway's reconfiguration plans, eventually leading to the scheduling of the upcoming public hearing.  As state Senator Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, puts it, " These guys are zero for three.  they come in and cut down a bunch of trees that don't need to be cut down.  They put up a fence we don't need, and now they're closing an exit that works fine".

What's Your Opinion?

Tell us whether or not you favor continued access to the Atlantic City Rest Stop from Jimmy Leeds Road  by voting in this poll.  Then please leave your thoughts on the roadway plan in the comments section below.