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Reduce Holland Tunnel Traffic and Keep Pedestrians Safe

This petition had 38 supporters


Excessive noise from honking and engine noise are caused by long waits in daily bumper-to-bumper traffic leading to the Holland Tunnel, specifically on Watts and Broome Streets. The condition is exacerbated during rush hour, late at night and early in the morning, when one of two outbound lanes in the Tunnel are closed by the Port Authority for ongoing maintenance. Drivers block the box during these times to those traveling up 6th Avenue, leading to full gridlock that can last for hours. This also means crosswalks are blocked for pedestrians, forcing them to jaywalk through dangerous traffic conditions. In addition, drivers routinely lean on their horns en masse for extended periods of time. At best, the noise can be described as "a low murmur of thousands of engines," and at worst, an incessant, aggravating chorus of loud honks.

We are proposing a few concrete solutions to attempt to alleviate these issues:

  1. Direct majority of traffic to the Canal Street entrance to the Holland Tunnel, a major artery. Watts Street is primarily a residential street that is not equipped to handle such heavy traffic. 
  2. Make parking / standing rules consistent on the three block stretch of Watts Street leading into the Holland Tunnel, where possible. Lane changes from inconsistent parking / standing rules leads to severe congestion and bottlenecking of traffic.
  3. Stronger enforcement of traffic and noise code violations by NYPD officers on Watts and Broome Streets. Writing tickets and issuing citations will deincentivize excessive honking, New Jersey-bound trucks and buses using Watts (a local delivery only street), and dangerous box and crosswalk blocking.
  4. Request DOT study benefits from a reset and reprogram of the signals at the Watts and 6th / Varick intersections to better accommodate traffic needs as it changes throughout the day.

If you want to enact the above solutions, alleviate the severe distress that this noise and air pollution cause, create safe streets for pedestrians and improve the quality of life for all nearby residents, workers and patrons, please come to the October 6th Community Board 2 meeting at 6:30 PM at 194 Mercer Street in Manhattan. If you cannot be there in person, please send an email to CB2 voicing your support for the petition to the District Manager Bob Gormley (bgormley@cb.nyc.gov) and sign the petition.

Thank you for your support!

- Sam Freeman



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