Holland Tunnel wreaths driving some mad, so Authority takes poll
JERSEY CITY — Three days after a man started a petition seeking to have the Port Authority change decorations on the Holland Tunnel entrance, the transportation agency seems to be embracing the idea and having some holiday fun at the same time.
A petition was started on Change.org by a man who was bothered by the fact that the Port Authority had put a Christmas tree decoration over the N in Holland rather than on the similarly shaped A. As of Sunday, the petition had collected 356 signatures with a goal of 500, but by Wednesday that number had increased to 1,340 signatures with a goal of 1,500.
On Monday, the Port Authority said it had spoken to Cory Windelspecht, the man who started the petition. By Wednesday, the agency was decidedly more in the holiday spirit. The Authority released its own version of the popular "The Night Before Christmas" poem using Windelspecht's petition as the inspiration.
"For years, two wreaths and a tree sat evenly spaced above lanes — but it made a man cringe, and he began to complain. He wanted the tree to fit snug over the 'A,' and launched a petition to try to make hay," the statement said. "Then from the media arose such a clatter, that the only solution would be to settle the matter ... by asking the public, 'what do you think.'"
The Port Authority has started a poll to see what they think should be done. There are four options for people to choose from:
Leave the decorations as is
Move the tree over the A in the word Holland
Move the tree over the A and remove the wreath over the U in Tunnel
Add a tree to hang over the A and keep the existing tree
The Port Authority called the matter the "Great Holland Tunnel Decoration Debate."
"This season is no time for discourse and debate, but for festive holiday cheer," Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. "In the spirit of the holidays, what matters most to us is customer experience and what our faithful travelers expect when they use our facilities."
Windelspecht said he is glad to see the Port Authority acknowledging the effort and having a little fun with it.
"All in all, it's a fun holiday thing. It's a fun debate," he said. "No one's ever going to be completely happy with it. At the end of the day there's so much bad news going on, it's just a fun thing to talk about and debate."
Windelspecht said he knows the Port Authority does an important job protecting people on both sides of the Hudson River, and is just glad to see them have a sense of humor with it. He said despite the new poll, he still plans to attend the Port Authority Board of Director's meeting on Thursday.
The poll is scheduled to close at 5 p.m. Sunday. No timeline was given as to what happens after the results are tallied.
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