NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) ‚Äď-¬†Commuters inching their way home in horrible traffic each afternoon are also getting caught in what‚Äôs become known as the Holland Tunnel ticket trap.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs horrible, I think it‚Äôs a big issue,‚ÄĚ one driver told CBS2‚Äôs Jessica Layton.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs rude, absolutely rude. It‚Äôs about time somebody do something,‚ÄĚ said another.
‚ÄúI think it‚Äôs stupid. I was pushed by the other cars in the middle of the traffic, and she gave me this stupid ticket,‚ÄĚ another man added. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs crazy. I‚Äôm not going to pay for it, that‚Äôs crazy.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThis is crap. This is what our tax money goes for? Come on,‚ÄĚ said Abraham Mimy, who¬†owns a business near the intersection of Thompson and Watts streets.
He watches daily as traffic enforcement agents stand in packs on the corner. As the light turns red, the agents show up at the windows of drivers blocking the box, scan their registrations and print out tickets with hefty fines.
Last year, there were similar complaints at an intersection in Ridgewood, Queens.
‚ÄúBe visible. Don‚Äôt play a mouse-and-cat game with me. Don‚Äôt hide so you can give me a ticket,‚ÄĚ Mimy said.
Between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Thursday alone, the agents printed out 46 tickets. At $115 a pop, that‚Äôs more than $5,000 for the city.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre just trying to make their quota, and it‚Äôs just easy access,‚ÄĚ said driver Yasmin Santiago. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre traffic agents. Why aren‚Äôt they helping? Why aren‚Äôt they delegating where to go?‚ÄĚ
There‚Äôs no question blocking the box is a huge problem in the area, Layton reported. But rather than pounce on drivers the second they get stuck, wouldn‚Äôt it make more sense for the NYPD to direct traffic and help it move along?
A spokesperson for the department said enforcement is one tool it uses to address dangerous gridlock, and people who live in the area say they appreciate the deterrent.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs signs that say ‚Äėdon‚Äôt block the box.‚Äô That‚Äôs another thing that all motorists‚Ä¶ should read more and be more cautious,‚ÄĚ resident Leslie Borg said.
But drivers say without a promise from police to actually help the flow of traffic, the congested mess will continue to be a money maker for the city.