A new plan to split the one-way toll on the Verrazzano Bridge is getting support from some local leaders.
The $19 toll is the most expensive in the country.
It only applies to drivers entering Staten Island through Brooklyn.
The new plan would charge drivers $9.50 in both directions.
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge was the world's longest suspension span when it opened in 1964, according to the MTA. It was named for Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer who was the first explorer to sail into New York Bay.
The bridge originally had one Z in the name (Verrazano-Narrows Bridge), a misspelling of the explorer's name. This was legally corrected by the state legislature last year. The misspelling was due to a mistake on a construction contract.
Originally, tolls were collected for drivers heading in both directions on the Verrazzano. That changed in the 1980s, when then-Rep. Guy Molinari spearheaded an effort to change the toll to be a one-way toll. The one-way toll went into effect in 1986.
Some lawmakers say many drivers avoid the toll altogether by entering Staten Island through New Jersey before crossing into Brooklyn.
"Plain and simple. This isn't rocket science, OK? It's free to go over one side of the Verrazzano, and plenty of commercial vehicles, as well as passenger vehicles, take advantage of that. And then they don't come back this way, they go out through Manhattan back into Jersey, and what that does is produces very distorted traffic patterns," said Rep. Max Rose, whose district covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
Some Staten Island residents who NY1 spoke with said they support the plan.
"That's great, because not only would there be less money for the drivers going into Brooklyn, but then they would make their money for the truckers not to sneak over either," said one Staten Islander.
"As long as it doesn't affect the residents of Staten Island, it'll be OK," said another.
If approved, it would still likely take more than a year for the split-toll change to take hold.