Toad's Turnpike is the 3rd longest course and the first course in the Flower Cup of Mario Kart 64. It is named after Toad and pictures of him are seen on the boundaries of the racetrack. The race track takes place on a public road at night. There are vehicles driving on this course which cause the racer's kart to fly if a collision between the two occurs. The overall shape of this course is roughly a figure 8, with some parts of the road with varying lane quantity. All Item Boxes of this track are located in the edge of a concave area where the road includes.
This course was the first in a series of similar race tracks in the Mario Kart series, to be filled with cars that come at the player. This type of race track reappears in the form of Mushroom City and Mushroom Bridge in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Shroom Ridge and the returning Mushroom Bridge in Mario Kart DS, Moonview Highway in Mario Kart Wii, Wuhu Loop in Mario Kart 7 and Toad Harbor in Mario Kart 8 though it has to be noted that Toad Harbor features cable cars following rails instead of cars.
Mario Kart 64
In 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc, the vehicles go forward in the direction where karts go. The engine class also affects how fast the vehicles move; traffic moves slowly in 50cc, but is quite fast in 150cc. The difficulty resides in the fact that the larger vehicles go slowly through the road, sometimes blocking the player (especially when approaching the finish line). In Mirror mode, the vehicles come in the opposite way at a rather fast speed (same speed as from 150cc), which can provide difficulties for the racers.
Instruction manual description
Normally, Karts shouldn't drive on a public road, but for some reason, Toad's Turnpike is one of the courses! Drive in a way so that you won't block the large buses or trucks. Cutting one off or driving too slow can cause accidents.
Mario Kart 8
Toad's Turnpike returns in Mario Kart 8 as a retro course, this time being the final race of the Shell Cup and its overall scale decreased. The course now takes place in Toad City, as seen on some cars and signs in the course. It is home to Toad Services, as well as the MKTV Headquarters, which is seen in the background. A turnpike has been added near the start, giving the English name more significance, and the starting banner now resembles a variable-message sign (or "matrix sign"). This city is also seen at N64 Rainbow Road, which shows it is connected to Toad Harbor.
Although the basic layout stays the same, there are anti-gravity sections among the walls at some points, which help avoid the traffic, but the route is slower. All racers now start on the area where vehicles drive on, instead of the joining starting section that used to be there. Furthermore, the start and finish line is now located on the section that bridges over the traffic. Some trucks have ramps that let players drive on them and a gliding pad, and the pink pickup trucks have a surfboard which serves as a simple ramp. Should one land on a normal truck or bus, some will have a small ramp. The traffic pattern is now chosen randomly rather than being based on engine class, and the vehicles always move at the same speed.
Item boxes, as well as coins, now move along the road. The yellow school buses are now replaced by white transportation buses while the light blue tank trucks are gone. A few helicopters are added, and the cars take a more realistic appearance, resembling cars from the 1980's. Multiple sponsors now appear in the background. Also, vehicles cause players to flip only if they drive quickly enough into the vehicle. The road is now a two-way road, whereas in the original, the cars moved in only one direction.
Toad's Turnpike also appears as a battle course. It is largely unchanged from the race track, except coin sections now have a single item box. Item boxes are also stationary. The pink pickup trucks and glider trucks are also absent.
Names in other languages