Gimme an ‘A’: Tunnel authority to move decoration after poll

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — The great Holland Tunnel wreath controversy has been resolved.

After complaints about the placement of two holiday wreaths and a tree decoration over the New York-bound tunnel, more than 21,000 people voted in a poll commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the tunnel’s operator.

Poll numbers were released Monday.

The consensus? Move the tree from over the “N” in “Holland” to over the “A,” and remove a wreath hanging over the “U.” That proposal garnered about 42 percent of the votes, about 1,200 more than an option that would have moved the tree but kept the second wreath where it was.

Some motorists had complained the design was distracting and possibly even a trigger for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. An online petition had gathered more than 2,900 supporters by Monday afternoon.

More than one million vehicles pass through the 91-year-old Holland Tunnel monthly, according to Port Authority statistics.

The controversy took on a lighthearted tone when the Port Authority announced the poll last week in a press release that mimicked the poem that begins, “’twas the night before Christmas.”

On Thursday, Cory Windelspecht, the Manhattan man who has been the public face of the push to move the decorations, addressed the Port Authority board at its monthly meeting. Windelspecht says he has suffered from OCD in the past and has been bothered by the tunnel decorations for years.

“The people have spoken, and we have listened,” Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole said Monday. “In true holiday spirit, may this change help bring more of us together.”

The Port Authority said the decorations will be moved Monday night. Executive Director Rick Cotton said last week a design competition would be considered for next year.

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