2. Holland Tunnel police used to ride in “catwalk” cars

Remnants of the track that once ran a catwalk police car.
Remnants of the track that once ran a catwalk police car. Courtesy of Library of Congress

A narrow, one-person, two-foot wide electric car debuted in the Holland Tunnel in 1955. Called the catwalk car, this vehicle was used as a tool for police to patrol the entire length of the tunnel. The car featured a swivel seat so that the police could move back and forth without having to leave their seat. Although the car only moved at 6 or 12 miles per hour, it still moved quickly during rush hour. 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.”

As other tunnels sprung up in New York City, the catwalk car technology spread across the city. The Lincoln Tunnel, which was the first mechanically ventilated underwater automobile tunnel to be built under the Hudson River, also featured these cars. Though according to The New York Times, the catwalk car was only operational until the spring of 2011. By then, the car had undergone many remodels.