JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The Christmas decorations over the Holland Tunnel got a new look Monday night.
The Port Authority shifted the position of the tree from over the letter N to over the letter A after conducting an online poll about the placement of Christmas decorations above the entrance.
Most of the 21,500 votes that were cast supported changing their layout one way or another, officials said.
“More than 80 percent voted for change, so change there will be,” said Port Authority Executive Director Richard Cotton.
The option that got the most votes also removes the wreath from over the U in “tunnel,” and that wreath will be sent to the Journal Square Path Station.
The changes started Monday night as work crews first took down the giant wreath on the U just after 10 p.m.
“Now I know we’ll get complaints, it’s not symmetrical, I understand that. But this was the democracy at work here. Forty two percent of the people voted for this option,” said Port Authority Chaiman Kevin O’Toole.
Every year, the entrance to the tunnel gets a holiday makeover with two wreaths and a Christmas tree.
One man wasn’t happy with the decor and created an online petition to change it.
Cory Windelspecht created the petition, saying the tree placed over the letter N may trigger people who have obsessive compulsive disorder.
He wanted the tree moved to cover the letter A, where he said it would work perfectly.
The Port Authority responded to the petition and created an online poll complete with mockups of four possibilities.
O’Toole said the public response to the poll, which was up for less than a week, was very significant.
“We have 20 people who responded to our budget, our $8 billion budget, 20 people from the public have responded, which we took very seriously. This overflow, avalanche of the media and the outpouring of support one way or another, 21,000 people in a couple of days is astonishing,” O’Toole said.
“It connects with what we’re trying to do more broadly, which is actually to listen, to put emphasis on customer experience, customer response. So this was an opportunity to take a very specific suggestion, which attracted a certain amount of humorous attention and take it very seriously,” Cotton said.
Cotton said they may open the decorations up to a design competition next year.