Inside the Holland Tunnel. Image via Flickr by Daniel Mennerich
Commuters and weekend travelers are perhaps all too familiar with the Holland Tunnel. So today, we provide you with fun facts and forgotten secrets about the tunnel between Manhattan and New Jersey, a feat of engineering and ventilation at the time it was built.
10. Holland Tunnel Police Used to Ride in “Catwalk” Cars
Photo via the Hoboken Historical Museum
A narrow, one-person, two-foot wide electric car debuted in the Holland Tunnel in 1955. The catwalk car was used as a tool for police to patrol the entire length from the catwalk on either edge of the tunnel. A swivel seat was installed in the car so that the police could move back and forth without having to leave their seat. The car moved at 6 or 12 miles per hour. This might sound slow, but this car definitely had the right of way! As The New York Times writes “the catwalk car was the fastest, surest way through the tunnel, gliding blithely past the most epic traffic jams — equipped with no horn, because none was needed.”
In our previous article, you can see two different vintage models of the catwalk car. According to The New York Times, the catwalk car was operational until the spring of 2011 but used a more modernized vehicle.