NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Frequently repeated announcements are hardly music to the ears of drivers at one busy East River crossing.
Imagine your dismay entering the Midtown tunnel and having your favorite song interrupted by an incessant and monotone MTA announcement taking over all frequencies, reminding you to drive safe.
“Please maintain safe distance and avoid unsafe lane changes,” one such announcement says.
As soon as the message plays out, MTA man is ready to tell you again and again from one end of the tunnel to the other.
“It’s like learning to use the remote control on your TV set. You want to change the channel, and you can’t, and he just keeps repeating itself,” Ray Reyes said.
Frustrated motorists have hit social media, asking ‘what’s up’ with the repeated messages, and some don’t even listen.
“I turn it off,” one driver said.
“I’ll put on my iPod,” another added.
The MTA said its latest safety announcement is relatively new, and has been making intermittent announcements for construction, safety, and traffic information in the Midtown and High Carey Battery tunnels since the late 1990s.
Both systems were destroyed in Sueprstorm Sandy. The Midtown frequency was up and running again in November 2016 to update drivers on the conversion to cashless tolling.
“It’s annoying and not necessary, I think we all know how to drive by now,” Anthony Nitti said.
The MTA said the message will eventually be replaced by a new one.
Some commuters who use the tunnel twice a day have found a new way to deal with it.
“You turn your radio off and do a little deep meditating, I guess,” he said.
Tunnel radio is also available in the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the Port Authority typically pre-empts regular radio programming for construction related announcements.