‘HOLLAAD TONNEL’ No More — 21,000 Convince Port Authority to Redecorate
JERSEY CITY — The voices of 20,000 people have convinced the Port Authority to change holiday decorations at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel to locations that drive the nitpickers among us a bit less nutty.
The petition was started last week after a man said he was bothered by the fact that a Christmas tree decoration that covered an "N" in Holland was not over the "A," which more closely matches the same shape. An O-shaped wreath had also been over the "O" in "Holland" ... but then another was placed over the "U" in "Tunnel."
In other words: It looked like it read "HOLLAAD TONNEL."
Cory Windelspecht called the entrance to the tunnel a "majestic site of architecture and history," in his petition, which is why he wanted the decorations moved.
At first the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the tunnel, said only that it acknowledged Windelspecht's petition, but eventually decided to have some holiday fun with it. The organization set up its own poll giving voters four options, ranging from doing nothing to more drastic changes.
In the end the "Great Holland Tunnel Decoration Debate," as the Port Authority called it, will result in not only the design change that Windelspecht had wanted, but also the removal of the second wreath that currently covers the "U" in "Tunnel." The winning choice was the third of the four options given, and won with 41.7 percent of the vote, according to the Port Authority. That choice got close to 1,200 votes more than the plan Windelspecht had proposed.
"The Holland Tunnel is about to bring even more comfort and joy to its travelers this holiday season," Chairman Kevin O'Toole said in a statement. "The people have spoken, and we have listened. In true holiday spirit, may this change help bring more of us together."
Windelspecht said that while he has received some negative feedback from his effort to have the decorations moved it has been mostly positive. he also called it a "great Christmas present" to see that the decorations are going to be moved.
"When the Port Authority actually listened to me they treated me very fairly," he said. "To see a podium in front of the Holland Tunnel talking about this based off of something I did is just surreal. There's nothing I can say to describe it other than just surreal."
The decorations are expected to be re-arranged on Monday night. The Port Authority also announced it is considering holding a design competition for next year "with the goal of yielding even better ideas for how this iconic and historic structure can get into the holiday spirit."