4. Pedestrians Used to Use the Holland Tunnel (Once)
Photo from Library of Congress
In 1927, shortly before the Holland Tunnel opened, The New York Times reported that “pedestrians will be allowed to use the tunnels at at a toll described as ‘not encouraging.’ People were certainly crossing on opening day, as reported in the Times but it does not appear that pedestrian access was continued after:
“When the two flags had parted before the New York entrance, there surged beneath their drawn folds and on into the chill depths of the white-tiled, brilliantly lighted subaqueous thoroughfare, an almost solid mass of pedestrians eager to make the trip from shore to shore afoot.
“It was estimated that within an hour 20,000 or more persons had walked the entire 9,250 feet from entrance to exit, and the stream of humanity, thinning a little toward the last, continued to traverse the tunnel until 7 p.m., when it was closed until 12:01 a.m., the hour set for vehicular traffic to begin its regular, paid passage.”