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Vallone Introduces Legislation to Get Rid of Koch’s Name from Queensboro Bridge

Queensboro Bridge (Photo: nyc.gov)

Nov 26, 2013 By Christian Murray

Council Member Peter Vallone Jr. has introduced legislation to restore the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge back to its original name, the Queensboro Bridge.

Vallone along with many Queens’ residents and business owners have objected to the change since the city renamed the Queensboro Bridge in 2011. Vallone voted against the name change and has championed the issue ever since.

Community Board 2, which represents Sunnyside/Long Island City and Woodside, opposed the renaming. Meanwhile, the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce also gave the renaming the thumbs down.

“While I realize this bill will not pass before the end of my term, I wanted to start the process so that Queens elected officials who come after me can restore the Queensboro Bridge to its rightful owners while simultaneously providing an appropriate honor for the late Mayor Koch,” said Council Member Vallone.

The bridge was renamed the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in 2011 to coincide with his 86th birthday.

Vallone opposed the renaming at the time, claiming that the bridge was not the appropriate venue to honor him. He was an outspoken critic of the proposal from the get-go.

At the time of the renaming, Vallone said:

“Mayor Ed Koch is truly a great man and deserving of an honor like this, but renaming a landmark so closely linked to our borough’s culture and history is not appropriate,” he said. “The city would not rename the Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge should be treated equally.”

Vallone was allegedly punished by Council Speaker Christine Quinn for coming out against the bridge. His discretionary funds were suddenly slashed the year of the vote–hurting many local non-profit groups.

Vallone’s legislation instead renames the Manhattan Municipal Building the Ed Koch Manhattan Municipal Building.

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24 Comments

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Nina Hartley

I went to a New Year’s Eve party at Ed Koch’s house once. he was so charming, so I hope they don’t change the name.

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Anonymous

They renamed the Queensboro, the Triboro and the Battery Tunnel all at the same time. It’s already hard enough to figure out how to get around this city. Let’s leave functionally named bridges and tunnels as
such. It also doesn’t help that the city changed only some of the signs to reflect the new names and leaves some as is.

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Kroywen

If you take Koch’s name off the Queensboro then take RFK off the Tribrough. At least Koch was a real New Yorker. Let Boston put RFK on one of their bridges.

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therealguyfaux

I’ll believe they’re serious about wanting to rename things when we go back to Idlewild Airport (fifty years of JFK is enough) and North Beach Airport (sixty-odd years of LGA is enough).

Does anybody out there think Horace Harding was a president who died in office (Warren Harding), instead of some buddy of Robert Moses (not the young guy on TV) (after whom the Causeway is named)?

Trust me, by our grandkids’ grandkids’ day, if there is still a bridge there, no one will know who the hell Ed Koch was. If Lincoln Center is still there, and the State Theater’s patron endows it in perpetuity, they might think the bridge is named after one of those “eee-vill (*”Bwahahahaha!”*) Brothers” –as the name’s pronunciation will have been forgotten, as was Sam Houston’s.

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sully

ugh!….enough with renaming things!…..the 59th street bridge belongs to Queens…hence the “official name” the Queensborough Bridge…..there’s a song about it for gosh sake…..try rhyming something with Koch……would be a different song entirely…

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Patricia Dorfman

Very pleased that Vallone is trying to regain original name! The Queensboro name is of both commercial and historical importance to Queens – after the construction, Queens came into its own.

Community Board 2 unanimously passed a resolution against the renaming, and Van Bramer voted against it. I am four other others gathered signatures in opposition, garnering close 1100 in three days. I personally spoke in opposition to the renaming at CB2. We found that the majority of Queens’s residents were opposed to it, also reflected in media polls. The city hired McCaffrey, a canny lobbyist by then, to make sure it passed. Many council people from Queens actually voted for it, against the will of the voters, because they had to do so to survive in that council.

Koch did a lot for the city, as did Bloomberg. I have nothing against either of them. But no pol or party should be abler to rename public property in NYC as though they are monarchs, or by railroading the measure through with the pretext of a fair council vote.

The bridges and streets, as public property, should be renamed as a result of grassroots support, with a uniform process for all New Yorkers.

It took us five years to get the names of Bliss, Rawson and Lowery back on the subways, after battling the DOT, the MTA, getting 2400 signatures, and having to testify at City Hall. Let a determined elected official who wants to inspire a renaming of PUBLIC property go through the same process.

We in Queens often seem to get what no one else would stand for, the plague casualties long ago, renaming our bridge, and using our main thoroughfare as a highway. I am not much for graffiti but 5 pointz was a landmark people came to see from all over the world. It was good for Queens, for art, for tourism, for business. Build a skyscraper across from it with that as the view. And we let it get torn down? Whose fault is it? Ours. Our government is supposed to have power through the consent of the governed. We need to speak up.

I am hoping, as the younger people are moving in, getting priced out of the Brooklyn, they will hold their own, as we have often not done.

Reply
Jane

always was and always will be referred to as 59th Street bridge…just ask any nyc cabbie. this weird obsession with naming places after people is not only absurd but only add to the confusion. just keep it simple st%pid.

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Sunnysideposthatesme14

Lets call it the “hey moron stop driving crazy on the bridge so you don’t crash and screw up the traffic for everyone” Bridge…

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Dorothy Morehead

Ed Koch was born in the Bronx, raised in Brooklyn and lived his entire adult life in Manhattan. He insisted on being buried in Manhattan. His name does not belong on the Queensboro Bridge.

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59th Street Bridge

Koch was a truly unique NYC character, but, great enough to have the 59th St bridge named after him?? No way. Same goes for RFK & the Triboro. What did he really do for NYC anyway??? Absurd. Waste of time and $.

NYC Bridge Alliance

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JaneGrissom

Sick of all the bridge/street namings. Please get rid of Ed Koch Bridge – nobody calls it that!

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Danny

Koch was a horrible person, one of those who call themselves “democrat” but was, in reality, a dirty conservative. I don’t think conservatives deserve any honor.

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Pat

@Mary Caulfield
Koch certainly did have something to do with Queens, as well as
the other boroughs. He was quite active in Town Hall meetings back in the 80’s and when he said he would handle something like getting rid of
money grubbing machines, called Space Invader games, in candy stores, on the school routes, it was done . And quickly ..

If Vallone wants to change a name on a bridge attack the Triboro Bridge,
never should have been named for a Kennedy from Massachusetts …

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Mary Caulfield

I hope that legislation passes with great speed. No dishonor to Ed Koch, but he had nothing to do with Queens. He was born in Brooklyn, give his name to that bridge.

1114
Reply
Dead (Money) Kotch Bridge

This is beyond silly. How much $ has already been spent renaming it the Ed Kotch bridge? Aren’t there any real issues that need to be addressed by these clowns?

Reply
Bill Ryan

Ed Koch- a great man and mayor.
But, the Queensboro Bridge belongs to Queens.
Imagine if someone tried to re-name the Brooklyn Bridge!

Reply

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