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The Highway With The Branding Problem

State Route 444 is an exceptional roadway that is one of the most traveled highways in the country. Great thought was put into its design, and its ability to carry massive amounts of daily traffic is a testament to the foresight of its builders.

The landscape architect and engineer in charge of its construction was Gilmore David Clarke, who had worked with Robert Moses on the parkway systems around New York City.

What is Route 444? Why, it's the road we all fondly refer to as "The Parkway", and despite any misgivings we may have about the traffic, we can all still appreciate its mostly-glorious, six-lane breadth and lush planted beauty.

The greenery is no accident. The Garden State Parkway was designed to have a "natural" feel. In fact, in its early days, many of the roads signs were wood, the overpasses were built of stone, and no commercial billboards were allowed. Clarke's road design stressed a planted "green belt" for curb appeal- but it also served another purpose.

The wide, planted medians were built to prevent head-on collisions and mask the glare of oncoming headlights. The parkway was designed to curve gently throughout its length so that drivers would remain alert and not fall asleep at the wheel.

These were important features of a roadway built with the stated goal of providing a safe and efficient route through the length of the state.