New Jersey is updating its highway rest stops by naming them after celebrities from the state, but there’s one icon who wants nothing to do with it: Bruce Springsteen.
The musician is arguably the state’s most recognizable public figure. Many of The Boss’ hits are based on growing up in New Jersey. The rest stops in the state also include bathroom stops in remembrance of the late “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini as well as Frank Sinatra.
On Tuesday, the long list of celebrity names was approved for National New Jersey Day. In addition, the Garden State Parkway areas will also include “Hard Rock Café-style exhibits.”
As for “The Boss,” he takes no offense to being off the list. “Bruce Springsteen respectfully declined to have a service area named after him,” Natasha Alagarasan, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Hall of Fame, wrote.
“It should be noted that Bruce has been very supportive of the New Jersey Hall of Fame over the years.” She continued, saying that he is “very much a part of the fabric of the Hall.”
Bruce Springsteen Respectfully Declines Rest Stop Offer
In 2020, he had a run-in with New Jersey police after he stopped at a park while riding his motorcycle. At the time, he did “two small shots” of tequila with some fans.
Earlier in 2021, state prosecutors dropped his DWI and reckless driving charges for the incident because he wasn’t intoxicated at the time. However, Springsteen pleaded guilty to one count of drinking in a closed area. As a result, he had to pay a $540 fine.
Although Bruce Springsteen pulled out from the honor, other well-known figures will soon see their own names.
News anchor Connie Chung, singer Celia Cruz, and authors Toni Morrison and Judy Blume, will be the honorees. In addition, the state also honored baseball player Larry Doby with a rest stop. Doby followed Jackie Robinson in the National League and helped break the color barrier in baseball.
“This is about putting New Jersey greatness on full display,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “This is the first part of an extended statewide exhibition of New Jersey heroes throughout our state.”
Earlier this week, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Board approved the implementation of names. However, they’re not the first state to have given its celebrities their own stops.
The New Jersey Turnpike’s rest stops are named after people, including former presidents Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson. The state’s transportation commissioner, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, said in a statement that millions of drivers use the parkway every day.
“The service areas they visit during those travels are a fitting place to call attention to the accomplishments of their fellow New Jerseyans in the arts, entertainment, and sports,” she said.