The Parkway was constructed between 1946 and 1957. It basically has two sections: the "metropolitan section", north of the Raritan River; and the "shore section", between the Raritan and Cape May. The metropolitan section is like any expressway built in the 1950s through heavily populated areas. The shore section parallels United States Highway 9 and runs through unspoiled wilderness in the Pine Barrens. In Cape May County, the Parkway does have three traffic lights (at exits 8, 10, and 11 respectively), but these may be eliminated in the future.
Some highway mavens think that the Garden State Parkway would make a better Interstate 99 than Interstate 99, as the GSP is a limited-access highway that hugs the Atlantic coast, and I-99 goes through Altoona, Pennsylvania. The current I-99 does not fit the interstate grid well, and if the GSP were I-99, it would fit the grid much better.