One Twitter user turned the 'Hollaad Tonnel' back into the 'Holland Tunnel.'

Cory Windelspecht/Twitter

Viral petition leads to revised Holland Tunnel Christmas decor

He scored over 2,000 signatures on his petition in just three days.


Ana Valens

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 18, 2018   Updated on May 20, 2021, 11:10 pm CDT

Last week, the internet universally condemned the Holland Tunnel (or the “Hollaad Tonnel,” if you will) for its nightmare-inducing Christmas decor. Now, in true New York fashion, one man’s online petition has sparked a chain of events that led to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey changing the design.

After the Holland Tunnel’s awkward Christmas decorations went up, New Yorker Cory Windelspecht fired off a petition demanding change. He requested the Port Authority “move the Christmas Tree on the Holland Tunnel from the N to cover the A” because the Holland Tunnel is “a majestic site of architecture and history” that “should be celebrated,” not squandered with a sloppily-placed Christmas tree.

“Every Holiday Season [the Holland Tunnel] is decorated with 2 wreaths and a Holiday Tree. But for some reason the tree is over the letter N in the word Holland instead of the letter A where it would fit perfectly,” Windelspecht wrote in his petition. “This one small thing triggers anyone with the slightest hint of OCD every time they enter the city. On top of that, it’s just unsightly and ruins the holiday festivities for people to enjoy on such a great piece of architecture.”

Granted, it’s not necessarily true that the decorations triggered people with OCD—obsessive compulsive disorder is a lot more complicated than just an impulse to make objects fit perfectly. That said, Windelspecht quickly gained support from people annoyed by the sign. Over 2,000 internet users signed the petition in just three days, thanks in part to a boost from Budweiser. Windelspecht even spoke out against the decorations at a Port Authority board meeting.

Port Authority proceeded to host an online survey for “The Great Holland Tunnel Decoration Debate,” and 21,500 voters came out to suggest the Christmas tree should be moved one letter over and the second wreath should be pulled. The changes were made last night, officially turning the “Hollaad Tonnel” back into the classic, iconic “Holland Tunnel.”

Windelspecht quickly turned to Twitter, celebrating the news. Granted, it wasn’t exactly what he wanted—he didn’t mind the second wreath—but hey, at least the people’s voices were heard.

Some New Yorkers and New Jersey residents are celebrating the change.


Others are mourning “Hollaad Tonnel’s” death by democracy. At the very least, there could have been another solution.

Either way, Twitter agrees: Holland Tunnel Guy has passion.

New York is a dirty mess of a city, and even its newest buildings quickly fall apart. Windelspecht, you’ve found a calling in fixing trivial, mundane problems that get on New Yorkers’ nerves. Maybe it’s time to fix up One World Trade Center next.

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*First Published: Dec 18, 2018, 11:10 am CST