Date: Dec 29, 2003
Press Release Number: 169-2003
Beginning Sunday, January 4, 2004, the speed limit in the E-ZPass Only lanes at the George Washington Bridge’s Palisades Interstate Parkway toll plaza will increase from 5 mph to 25 mph.
The George Washington Bridge’s Palisades Interstate Parkway (PIP) toll plaza is the second Port Authority toll plaza to increase its speed limit. In June 2003, the Outerbridge Crossing was the first Port Authority crossing to increase its toll plaza speed limit to 25 mph.
The speed limit increase is the latest in a series of customer service initiatives under the agency’s Toll Plaza Program. The remainder of this first phase of the program will implement a 25 mph speed limit at the remaining bridge toll plazas through 2004.
Motorists will see some changes on roads as they approach the toll plazas. Signs highlighting the new speed limit and appropriate lane use will be posted. Additionally, barriers to separate the higher speed traffic will be placed on the approach and departure lanes of the toll booths, ensuring the safety of the operation. The Toll Plaza Program will improve traffic flow and customer service, while ensuring traffic safety for motorists.
Governor James E. McGreevey said, “This is a common sense measure to give New Jersey\'s drivers a smoother commute, and get them home early enough to spend time with their families. It\'s a simple boost to their quality of life.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Increasing the E-ZPass speed limit at Port Authority crossings gives us another opportunity to provide better service to our customers. These changes allow us to improve regional mobility, while also creating a system that is not only convenient and safe, but saves motorists time and money. To date, we’ve seen a number of successes with this program and we will continue to look for ways to use technology to improve service and traffic flow.”
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Today’s announcement builds on the success of our earlier E-ZPass initiatives and is just the beginning of a series of enhancements that will benefit our customers. The speed limit increase from 5 mph to 25 mph will allow us to ease delays and reduce congestion, while maintaining the highest safety standards for the 55 million motorists who use the George Washington Bridge each year.”
Port Authority Tunnel, Bridges and Terminals Department Director Ken Philmus said, “We are pleased to see the Toll Plaza Program is advancing so well, with this improvement at the GWB’s Palisades Interstate Parkway toll plaza completed ahead of schedule. The continued growth in E-ZPass transactions has made these types of improvements possible at our toll plazas. The number of E-ZPass transactions has continued to grow at the PortAuthority crossings as customers take advantage of the deep toll discounts offered to E-ZPass customers during off-peak hours.”
Motorists can expect to see message signs regarding the speed limit increase on approach roads to the toll plaza. The 25 mph speed limit applies only to the dedicated “E-ZPass Only” lanes, which are located on the left side of the toll plaza. E-ZPass customers may continue to use the staffed, full-service toll lanes while traveling at no more than 5 mph.
Motorists also are reminded that the toll plaza is open to E-ZPass customers only Mondays through Fridays from 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. At all other times, the toll plaza provides staffed, full service lanes and dedicated “E-ZPass Only” lanes.
For more information, call 800 221-9903 on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to speak with a customer service representative. At other times, automated information is available. Information is also available on the Port Authority’s web site: www.panynj.gov.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.