There are a lot of logistics to consider before you take on a highway walk. Where will you stay at the end of the day? Do you have someone pick you up, drive you home and then return you the next morning to the place where you left off, or do you find a motel? How much sustenance do you carry? And how do you deal with the lack of sidewalks? Traffic has gotten heavier and faster since Rockland made his treks in the late 70's, so perhaps his methods wouldn't suffice. Obviously, I need to select my walking highway very carefully.
I think I've found it: State Route 59. Lined with a sidewalk for its full length, its traffic is reasonable and I'm certain I could walk it in a single day. If I can't there's definitely something wrong: it's only 0.15 miles long.
|Planned route for NJ 22.|
If you stand next to that concrete bridge rail and look north, you stare straight at an old residential neighborhood. Maybe that was part of the issue -- the state would have had a heck of a time gaining the necessary property for the road, even with eminent domain.
Looking at the inscriptions on the end posts on the concrete bridge, you'd be forgiven for wondering if the road was intended to be a spur of or replacement for the highway we know today as US Route 22. Route 59 was, in fact, originally designated as State Route 22, even though US 22 already existed in New Jersey (however, in Union and Essex Counties, US 22 was known as State Highway 29, which doesn't intersect with current day State 29 in the Trenton/Lambertville area. Confused yet?). This and other thoroughfare perplexities necessitated highway renumberings in 1927 and again in 1953, when our little 0.15 mile of heaven was redesignated as 59. Nobody made the change on the bridge marker, though, so observant passers-by will no doubt have fun trying to figure out how much more convoluted 22 could possibly get.
One of these days, I'll hit the road and actually walk the length of 59. I'll park at the Walgreens at the southern end, carefully cross the driveway, walk under the railroad overpass and continue past the empty lot to the right until I reach the corner. I might even cross Route 28 to check out the concrete bridge and then head to the adjacent liquor store for a celebratory beverage. I won't want to drink it there, though: it'll be another road crossing and a little more than a tenth of a mile to get back to my car. That's not nearly enough time to get my blood alcohol content down to drive legally.