S.I. Councilman James Oddo Incensed By Easter Traffic Jam At Outerbridge Crossing

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Staten Island leaders are demanding answers from the Port Authority, asking why there was only one cash lane open at the Outerbridge Crossing on Easter Sunday causing massive traffic jams.

On Monday, Councilman James Oddo expressed outrage about the situation, which left many borough residents stuck in traffic for almost six hours.

Oddo Says ‘Heads Should Roll’ Over The Debacle. 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports.

“Who made this decision? And when you see that the backup is halfway to Mexico, isn’t there a red phone that you pick up and you say ‘we have a problem, this has to be addressed?'” Oddo said.

The councilman says “heads should absolutely roll” because of the toll debacle.

“Let’s fire them, reassign them somewhere far, far away from Staten Island,” he said. This wasn’t an hour; it wasn’t a two hour pain. It wasn’t a rush hour. It was an all day event. This is filed under “galactically stupid.”

Oddo said the trip home took some residents 6 hours. WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports.

Oddo has sent a letter to the Port Authority’s executive director, Chris Ward, seeking a meeting to discuss what happened.

“I want them to come to Staten Island — not only to meet with the elected officials, but I’m bringing some of the folks who were stuck in that traffic to sit in the meeting and make the people from the Port Authority listen to their story,” he said.

SOUND-OFF: Were you stuck at the Outerbridge Crossing on Sunday?  Share your story in the comments section…

More from Stan Brooks In Memoriam
  • Sir John Thomas

    Everyone realizes that all of these idiots will continue collecting a paycheck and even if anyone was fired over this there is a loooong line of additional idiots just waiting to take their place. Nothing will change.

  • Joanne

    I was in that nightmare traffic for six hours…stuck on the bridge for forty minutes…in the fog and rain….Never in my life did I experience such traffic going to Jersey where i go every holiday…someone needs to make sure this never happens again

  • Gloria Guerriera

    There is only one way to aleviate this problem. Make them pay. Like the airlines now have to do if you are stuck in a plane on the tarmac for a certain number of hours. After you are stuck at any toll for a certain number of hours, you should go through for free. See how fast they will fix the problem

  • l t

    the bridge mgr that was on during this horror should be fired, no excuses . but like everything else in this city and state it gets washed under the rug . were is our great gov, he has some say so as to this problem. but he has not said a thing. two weeks from now it will water under the bridge

  • JM13

    Pathetic!!!! Stuck in the traffic for 4.5 hours. Just about ruined a beautiful Easter gathering with the family. How ill-prepared can the port authority be? Was Holiday travel a surprise for them? All lanes except fopr EZ pass should have been manned. I bet whoever was in charge atyed home. Next holiday all responsible should be made to drive from Jersey to SI in the height of the traffic. There needs to be accountability and responsibility taken, not the normal pass the blame game that the city seems to do so well. What does the mayor have to say? or will it be the normal matter-of-fact, should have stayed home or take public transportation garbage. The city is doing their best to push all of us out.

  • badman

    oddo committed inscenst? that’s a bad thing

  • Vic

    Exact Change!!! Exact Change!!! nuf said.




      All you morons driving around on EASTER stop crying.It was the lords day and you should have walked to church and had diner with close family.I am sick of these Staten Island wanna bees thinking who they are.OTTO is sucking up to these people who live on a dump site.WHAT EVER

  • GLD

    I have EZ-Pass and was stuck in this traffic jam for SEVEN hours starting around eight on the Garden State Parkway. I didn’t get back home (to Brooklyn) until 3 in the morning. What should have taken two hours (two and a half tops) took ALL NIGHT! this was extremely irresponsible and at some point extra toll collectors (or someone from management) should have come in but no, we as motorists are forced to spend all night in a traffic jam because someone can’t do their job??? If I did my job this terrible I would EXPECT to be fired!!!

  • Tommy T

    Help!!! I’m still stuck in this bridge traffic. Been waiting now for over a day and a half!!!!

    • MaMa Mary

      Tommy, Ya better tell one of those Mob Wives on that new tv show. They put up with nothing. Their husbands are in jail so they know what it is like for someone to be stuck in a bad situation. At the very least, they can roll up alongside you with some pasta fazool. If you want someone punished for your delay, I am sure they know who to call. Hoping your rescues is imminent. Enjoy the scenery, think positive thoughts, Mangia
      PS To all who say it was Easter, stop complaining, I want you to know that the Easter Bunny also was in the jam, some good kids didn’t get their candy. This is what we are coming to in America and Staten Island. PPS I did go to Church. Tommy must’ve been visiting his Ma and I have every sympathy for a good son doin his duty.

  • Debbie

    Easter Sunday was truly a debacle. New Jersey roads were greatly impacted by this nightmare. However, on Good Friday, a similar incident occured. Traffic on the turnpike was backed up in both directions at around 7:00 p.m. due to lack of cash tolls open on the bridge crossings. This is nothing new. So the PA of NY/NJ apologizes for the problems Easter Sunday?

    • Auburn Dale

      Hey, at least they avoided spending Staten Island tax dollars on overtime!

  • SalVenuto

    Wahh Wahh wahhh… Staten Island Cries again.
    The Only “galactically stupid” is living on Garbage Island.

    • Vic

      Ki$$ my higher class of people than you will ever, ever be in your life time be Island A$$, you ignorant jerk!

      • salvenuto

        You have been sniffing to much garbage Vic if you really want to defend living on that cancer ridden turd island as high class. In reality it is more for those that could not afford any other borough or NJ.

  • Michael Cialone

    I hope Councilman Oddo success ! The Port Authority knows that Staten Island Outerbridge is thoroughfare for many travellers heading east on the holidays, they are going to the Verazzano’s Bridge and out to Long Island or Connecticut. Staten Island residents have these headaches every day. So what that we have a free ferry !—–it brings you into the crime ridden North Shore and than the infamous Staten Island Railroad, our version of a subway. The train stations are unguarded and noted as hang outs for the local juvenile delinquents.

  • Michael Cialone

    Last Saturday was slow going too. As usual, we are held captive on Staten Island. When I come back from Manhattan, I use the Express Bus because the Staten Island Rapid Transit rail road stations are hang outs for the local juvenile delinquents. The stations are not safe. They are hang outs for the locals. I lived on the Prince’s Bay train station for nine years, never a dull moment: called the police a number of times.

  • Amine

    I swear to god they did it in purpose to push people to suscribe for ez pass,so they can save on the budget by laying off more toll collectors.that’s evil and stupid ,people were dying that day,someone need to be fired right away .stupid dump pa.

    • Michael Cialone

      no swearing please ! It is Easter. Thank you.

  • Lovestoteach

    We have EZ Pass and were stuck in the traffic for an hour and a half around 8pm or so. Our normal 90 minute ride took 3 hours. This was due to one lane open collecting tolls combined with the torrential rain. It was the worst I have seen. There should be a partition separating cash from EZ Pass lanes starting from the entrance to the bridge on. All the people paying cash blocked the left lane which is for EZ Pass customers. It was terrible and ruined the whole trip. Who ever is responsible for one person being on duty that night should be fired or demoted. No excuses.

    • VIc

      there needs to be an “Exact Change Only” lane added. One Cash lane was ridiculous and especially when you have people that insist on paying with a $20 bill for this toll. Giving back change alone takes time so you can only imagine Easter Sunday. One person on duty was the stupidest thing the Port Authority could have done. But people! have $6 ready when you get to the tolls — give and drive off. Common Sense all around.



  • karlson

    Just returned from a road trip from NY to Virginia Beach and back. It’s amazing that there are EZ PASS lanes in Delaware and Maryland where you can proceed to drive through and pay the toll at 65 mph! Some toll plazas are 45, some are 35. Obviously safety is an issue and you can’t design every toll plaza so traffic can go through at those speeds. But the Port Authority of NY/NJ needs to start studying how other states create efficiencies in their toll plazas and actually create better designs.

    How about having a one way toll like the Verranzano and Geo. Washington Bridges? Why is there a need for so many tolls anyway? These bridges paid for themselves years ago. Now all the motorists are doing is paying for salaries of bridge and tunnel employees and administrators and all their perks and company cars. The port authority has long outlived it’s usefulness. It should be disbanded as it serves no useful purpose.

    It would be cheaper to hire a contractor to paint the bridge and repave the roadway than have the port authority do it. They certainly don’t put the job out to bid. They surely hire their cronies to get top dollar to maintain the bridges.

  • nik

    trust me i grew up in the city i have sat in plenty of traffic before, but this was absolutely ridiculous to have this happen on a holiday especially. a trip that should have taken us an hour, took us almost 5. we missed easter with our family. i don’t care what anyone says, there is NO reason why this should have happened. both bridges had the same issue. this was obviously planned to save money.

    • Auburn Dale

      Maybe the toll takers called in sick so THEY could spend Easter with THEIR families.

      • mn

        Auburn I have worked many jobs where I had to work on holidays and we worked out schedules so that we could try to spend some time together. Your job is your job and if you aren’t going to do it let someone else have it. There are plenty of unemployed people who would be happy to have a paycheck and benefits.

  • Jonathan Earl Sailor

    so let’s just raise taxes and have the fine new yorkers to pay for the extra man power to take care of these sitiuations until a more viable plan can make it easier for you and your family to get to mother-in-laws house whom you hate anyway. She is only going to reinforce your loser qualities that you have anyway.

  • voice of reason

    @ brown, maybe you should get a job at the booths and don’t forget to bring a dictionary because you cannot speak eloqently. Stop complaining brown and don’t something about it. Hey maybe you should run for a city position and do something about the way the city is run. Don’t you think? or do you? Stop talking about and do something, put down the beer and New York City pretzel, get off your fat or well padded arse and do something.

    • BROWN

      voice of reason; NOT!

      you would comment and say such a thing like your previous post, but it’s simply lame and a foolish individual who doesn’t understand NY life!

      I would say, VOICE OF A SLEEZE!

  • Mike

    This has happened before and it will happen again. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been stuck on the Outerbridge, or, ore likely, seen backups into NJ because there weren’t enough cash lanes open. I’ve also lost track of the times I’ve heard traffic reporters stating that the cash lanes of (name your PA crossing) are backing up due to lack of cash lanes. This isn’t rocket science and EZPass is not so new that somebody competent couldn’t have figured out proper staffing by now.

  • Rodin


  • billy

    non staten island tax dollars? its the only borough that has no free way to get into it, we pay the same exact taxes, highest tolls and receive the least amount of benefits of those tax dollars and tolls

  • dico j.

    You live in a city of more than 8 million people, in a relatively small area. What do you think is suppose to happen?

    • BROWN


      I would honestly say, disco j. stands for jerk.

      no stupid, on any given day whether holiday,weekend or midnight you should never only have one person manning the toll booths, never.

      this has nothing to do with thw amount of people in the city…and anothing thing stupid…there are more than 8million people; get off your tail and read the actual number then place them in your foolish comments.

      Management should be and will be held accountable for their idiotic scheduling.

      Management should definitely be reprimanded; severly. this has impacted thousands of families and should not ever have taken place.

      don’t blame the amount of people, it’s about the individuals tha are put in place to make sure the nuts and bolts on this magnifecent city is run with limited flaws; this being one that should never have happened….this was a very brainless management decision to schedue one person in the booth.

      Management should have went to a both an took toll payment from all of the drivers, not leave them stranded for hours at a time…..

      imagine if the drivers got to the point where they got tired of waiting for three, four and five hours and drove through the unmanned boths…the end result; severe fines in the mail; right…but it would have just been what the port authorithy deserved…you don’t/shouldn’t treat people like they don’t matter.

      You probably don’t have a vehicle; that’s why you speak so darn lame….jump back on your skateboard.

      • dico j.

        I’ve never heard a bunch of bigger whiners in my life. Move to Hooterville. No traffic there.

      • really now

        …hey brown. maybe you should get a job at the booths and don’t forget to bring a dictionary because you cannot speak eloqently. Stop complaining brown and don’t something about it. Hey maybe you should run for a city position and do something about the way the city is run. Don’t you think? or do you? Stop talking about and do something, put down the beer and New York City pretzel, get off your fat or well padded arse and do something….

      • Auburn Dale

        Was it really a scheduling issue? Or did most of the toll takers call in sick so they could have Easter Sunday off?

  • Auburn Dale

    It’s obvious why there weren’t any extra toll collectors — there was no way to guarantee that only NON-Staten Island tax dollars would be used to pay them!

  • Mario

    This always happens at busy times. I think the reason is they do not want us to take advantage of the commuter discount. 3 or more people going to a manned lane with ezypass pay $2.00 if you have this feature on your account. Its a $6.00 savings, but then again us islanders are always getting the short end of the stick..

  • FranM

    There is no excuse for what went on yesterday at the Outerbridge. We have an ez-pass and it didn’t help us. We were stuck in this delay for 4 hours. Traffic was backed up all the way down the Garden State Parkway. If the bridges are going to continue to accept cash then there should be more than one toll taker. There is on an average morning commute, so why not on a holiday? The fact that the same thing happened on the Goethals Bridge yesterday leads me to believe that this was a well organized plan by the toll workers.

    • cool

      do you really think the workers decide how many are scheduled ?
      do you think the bosses were paying attention ?
      the workers who were there were away from their families on the holiday, don’t blame them
      these bridges and tunnels subsidize mass transit,wouldn’t it be smarter to
      schedule extra personell ,paying overtime is worth the price the customer is paying…..sounds like a manager should be in the booth for a day

  • C. Pearson

    James Oddo is my hero. Man has tiger blood to come up with the slogan
    “galactically stupid.”

  • mark

    You mean there are idiots running the Port Authority?? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

  • Johnny Handsome

    I guess the number of motorist out to see granny had nothing to do with this? Having one cash lane open is a problem but not the problem. if Councilman James Oddo had a problem, maybe he should have helped out. Show the people he is actually doing something instead of flapping his gums and calling for heads to roll.

  • billy

    im still in the traffic

  • Steve K

    Really – this is called over-reacting. It’s the moron’s who don’t have E-Z-Pass. You often can get through more quickly during the week, when many regular drivers have E-Z-Pass, than on the weekends, when the “goin out for a weekend drive” crowd doesn’t. Get E-Z-Pass and stop sweaten the small stuff…

  • me

    Port authority sucks. the workers just don’t feel the pain and the bosses are losers.

  • @2cents

    this is a nightly issue for people in NJ who live around the George Washington Bridge. Simple solution. Cashless toll collection. make everyone get EZ pass, or use photo enforcement, and make people without EZpass pay extra to cover the costs.

  • Ken

    I have been in Easter traffic before….but it was at the Throggs Neck Bridge. The problem was not so much the lack of toll takers, it was the lack of drivers with EZpass. How the hell do you not have an easy pass these days?

  • 1608

    The same thing happened in Ma. 2 yrs. ago, it was called a sick-out.

  • Brooklyn McDirtyshoes

    Even with EZ Pass, which I have, we were stuck in that traffic for 2 hours. It was ubelievable to see only 1 cash lane open when we got to the toll. This was at around 8pm…peak travel time. EPIC FAIL.

    • Bell Toller

      you should have taken the Bayonne Bridge there were no delays

  • Lisa B.

    Another reason why everyone should have EZPass. Apparently they are trying to teach us a lesson into getting them. Lesson learned, lesson learned.

  • r.

    Where were the port authority police to control the flow of traffic?? I guess they were all off like the toll collectors.Opps, I forgot the port authority police don’t work weekends at the outerbridge because they are all on a special detail pulling speeders over illegally across state lines during the weekdays for traffic infractions……

  • Larry Schwarz

    I was not stuck in it,but it is the same problem always at The George Washington Bridge.I agree that someone needs to be held accountable for this.

  • vat33

    Heard on the radio about the massive delays on Outherbridge and Goethals crossings and opted for the Lincoln Tunnel. It was a good decision. No tie-ups, but a little out of the way to get back to Queens. But we kept moving.

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