In an effort to improve traffic flow, a new toll plaza configuration is going into effect at the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge’s Queens-Bound (southbound) toll plaza, with cash lanes moving to the right side of the plaza only. Under the old configuration there were cash lanes on either side of the toll plaza.
The change, which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Mon., Aug. 12, was made after MTA Bridges and Tunnels Traffic Engineers and Operations personnel analyzed traffic flow and concluded that grouping cash lanes to the right side of the plaza would maximize toll plaza efficiency.
E-ZPass use at the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge has increased nearly 5 percentage points since 2010 to 74.8 percent in 2012. There are about 83,000 E-ZPass customers versus 25,000 cash customers on an average weekday at the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.
“Grouping the cash lanes to the right of the toll plaza will improve traffic flow since it will position the slower cash vehicles, which take more time to process and tend to have longer queues, to one side of the plaza,” said Bridges and Tunnels Traffic and Safety Engineer Pat Sbano.
Director of Bridges East Raymond Webb said the change will assist with traffic flow during the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge’s Queens approach widening and rehabilitation project, which uses a movable barrier to keep three lanes open to the Bronx during peak morning drive times and three lanes to Queens in the afternoon. The new southbound toll plaza configuration is also consistent with the current configuration at the northbound toll plaza into the Bronx, Webb said.
To inform drivers, electronic message signs will announce the change and flyers will be handed out in cash lanes. Once it goes into effect, permanent signs will be posted along the roadways leading into the southbound plaza directing customers to keep right for cash and left for E-ZPass.