Stuart Levine, president of Ramsey Outdoor Store, has watched traffic on 17 for 30 years and says that since the Route 4-Route 17 flyover was completed in late 1999, the parkway merge on 17 has become the new stopping point in Paramus.Levine
tells the history of the transformation of Route 17 over the last 30 years by listing the local businesses that have been replaced by national retail chains - places such as the ice rink, Bergen Bluestone, Marty the Tire King, Cottage Beautiful, and The Beef House.He
also remembers when hunters used to stop by Ramsey Outdoor
in Paramus for supplies in the early 1970s, then drive a mile north and hunt and trap small game in the woods where the Paramus Park mall now stands."How incredible is that - that you used to be able to hunt so close to the store," he
On today's Route 17, from the point where the road enters Paramus at Farview Avenue to the Linwood Avenue border, there are 18 furniture stores, 11 gas stations, nine clothing stores, eight rug stores, four outdoor stores, four car dealerships, three giant bookstores, three electronics superstores, three office-supply stores, and North Jersey's
most upscale Salvation Army store.
There are so many stores that Paramus borough officials and the Chamber of Commerce can't keep track of the number and refer questions to Handy Guide
, a business that publishes Route 17 maps for consumers and maintains a database of stores.