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Transportation Buffs to Install Tollbooth on Williamsburg Bridge

Transportation groups will erect a 1919-era tollbooth on the Williamsburg Bridge.
Transportation groups will erect a 1919-era tollbooth on the Williamsburg Bridge.
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NYC Bridge Centennial Commission

LOWER EAST SIDE — Demonstrators will turn back the clock on the Williamsburg Bridge Tuesday by constructing a replica toll booth to draw attention to the revenue lost by eliminating bridge tolls a century ago.

The throwback event, organized by the NYC Bridge Centennial Commission, will include a vintage-looking tollbooth at the corner of Delancey and Suffolk streets manned by a collector dressed in 100-year-old uniform, classic cars, and 1911 dimes for pedestrians and motorists to symbolically pay for their passage.

The action seeks to draw attention to the fact that the city could have theoretically raised about $31 billion at tollbooths over the past century that could have paid for transportation infrastructure projects, like the Second Avenue subway or direct rail access from Manhattan to the city’s airports.

The Williamsburg Bridge will get a mock tollbooth Tuesday in an effort to raise awareness for lost infrastructure costs.
The Williamsburg Bridge will get a mock tollbooth Tuesday in an effort to raise awareness for lost infrastructure costs.
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Jill Colvin/DNAinfo

The tolls on East River Bridges were discontinued on July 19, 1911, when they had been generating approximately $250,000 per year.

Representatives from such transportation organizations as the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives will join the event, scheduled to start at 11 a.m.