Press Release Article


Date: Dec 17, 2018
Press Release Number: 198-2018

New design of decorations decking eastbound entrance to be installed overnight

‘Tis the season for gifts filled with joy, and today the Port Authority seeks to bring that joy to thousands of Holland Tunnel commuters by announcing that holiday decorations that for decades adorned the tunnel’s toll plaza will be shifted following a 5-day public poll that generated more than 21,000 votes and captured the attention and imagination of social media feeds far and wide.

The Great Holland Tunnel Decoration Debate has concluded with voters clearly siding with change and electing a design that will shift the tree currently hanging over the “N” to the “A” in the word “Holland” and will remove the second wreath hanging over the “U” in “Tunnel.” This proposal captured 41.7% of all votes cast beat out the option that would have only shifted the tree but preserved the second wreath by nearly 1,200 votes, or approximately 5.5 percentage points. The changes will be made Monday night.

“The Holland Tunnel is about to bring even more comfort and joy to its travelers this holiday season,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The people have spoken, and we have listened. In true holiday spirit, may this change help bring more of us together.”

“Some may call it a miracle that the traveling public has spoken and the Port Authority actually listened,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “But beyond the merriment and cheer with which we’ve accommodated this groundswell of holiday commentary, it illustrates that we take all customer feedback seriously. This couldn’t be more critical to an organization that is charged with rebuilding and investing critical infrastructure assets throughout the region – from the Goethals Bridge to our airports to the PATH System. We look forward to continuing active engagement with our customers on a wide variety of issues that impact their travel experience across our facilities.”

The Port Authority’s Holland Tunnel poll was launched following the posting of an online petition on The petition requested that the holiday decorations – two wreaths and a tree – at the tunnel’s toll plaza be shifted to ease distress experienced by those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder because of the way the shape of the tree conflicted with that of the “N.”

The decorations that have been in place at the Holland Tunnel were symmetrically aligned above the tunnel lanes – an arrangement that extends back two decades. The petition suggested that the tree’s placement over the “N” in “HOLLAND” should instead be placed over the letter “A.”

The Port Authority also announced that, given the extreme level of interest the Tunnel’s decorations generated over the past week, it will explore hosting a design competition in 2019 with the goal of yielding even better ideas for how this iconic and historic structure can get into the holiday spirit.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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