Nothing like a "Galactically Stupid" traffic jam to get the Port Authority to jump to action. After Staten Islanders (and local politicians) freaked out over this weekend's monstrous jam around the Outerbridge Crossing—where there was only one cash lane and the traffic was so intense even EZ-Pass users couldn't get through—the PA has begun apologizing profusely: "The Port Authority had a bad day. We made a mistake. We did not have enough toll collectors on site," Christopher Ward, the executive director of the Port Authority, told the Advance. "We did not respond the way the Port Authority usually does. We're going to put some things in place ... [and] we will never let that happen again."
What new things are they going to put into place? Starting next Monday if traffic gets nuts again cash customers will be "allowed to drive through open E-ZPass lanes, without stopping. Their license plates will be photographed and they'll receive a notice in the mail requesting payment of the $8 toll. No other fees will be attached." But those measures will only kick in if things get really bad again. "I have to emphasize traffic is a fact of life in this region and this will only be invoked when we reach that level of severe deterioration that we saw on Easter," Ward explained.
But don't think Ward's apologies for the Easter mess end there. Not at all! At the request of local officials Ward will be the main attraction at a public meeting next week to discuss the delays. Got a story of woe from Sunday you want to share? Just head to the St. George Theater (35 Hyatt Street) next Monday at 7 p.m..