July 14, 2013 By Christian Murray
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. wants Ed Koch’s name to be taken off the Queensboro Bridge.
Vallone told the New York Post that he is drafting legislation to restore the crossing’s historic moniker and to name Manhattan’s Municipal Building after Koch instead.
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.
“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,” Vallone said at the time. “The city would not rename the Brooklyn Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge should be treated equally.”
Vallone voted against the measure but the City Council, with the strong backing of Speaker Christine Quinn, voted 38-12 to rename it.
Vallone told the New York Post today: “Never in a million years would they think to rename the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges. But for some reason, it was OK to slap Queens around.”
Vallone’s move is likely to generate some support in Western Queens.
For instance, Community Board 2, which represents Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, passed a unanimous resolution in April 2011 that asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to sign the bill that renamed the bridge into law. The nearly 40 member community board sent a letter directly to the Mayor expressing its outrage about the renaming.
Several members of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce also called on the New York City Council to repeal the law shortly after it was signed.
The traffic reporters will start calling it by its new name and the next generation will grow up and think that’s what it’s always been called.
They’ll think that Grandpa is stuck in the old days, like mine was in the 80s when he referred to Idlewild Airport.
Nobody calls it the Ed Koch Bridge, I agree it should not have been renamed but the amount of money just for more new signs would be a complete waste. It’s the 59th street bridge no matter what Vallone wants’s it to be called.
@ Micky – true words.
Facts speak louder than words.
The Hugh Carey Tunnel? Wow, that is a depressing name. And who is this Major Deegan? I don’t think anyone know who he is. Just as obscure is Eugenius Outerbridge. Time we put our foot down!
@Micky – Belief is a wonderful thing, especially in that it so often exists completely alienated from facts. Is there a chance that the misquote you cite from retired CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT Esposito is based upon an article in the Huffington Post written by Matt Sledge? You know – the one in which Chief Esposito states that 10% of the NYPD are “malcontents”? The one that doesn’t cite the percentages or descriptions you believe in?
I agree – Case dismissed – lack of evidence.
Good mayor? weren’t those the Taxi Driver years when we were bankrupt and Ford told NYC to go to hell?
Sunnyside Native- “boro” is an abbreviation or a attempt at simplification of the legitimate word “borough.”
Eventually, we should decide- are we modernizing this word into “boro” or are we sticking with borough? I realize my interest in etymology isn’t shared by everyone…
Never should have been changed in the first place!
Koch loved Manhattan, lived there all his life, did not like the outer boroughs,
@Just Asking,i believe it was retiring police Captain Esposito who put it best,he said todays NYPD is made up of 10% Super cops,15% good cops and 75% ZEROS,case dismissed.
I wasn’t a fan of renaming the bridge after someone while that person was still alive, but it was what it was. I don’t really care that much. It will always be the Queensboro or 59th Street Bridge. Heck, I will NEVER call the Triboro the RFK. But this smacks of low politics and looks ungracious. Fits the Vallone’s to a tee.
@ SuperWitySmitty – I call it the 59th Street Bridge as well, but it is technically named The Queensboro Bridge. Queensboro Plaza is the name of the subway station that connect the 7 train & the N/Q trains. Queens Plaza subway station will connect you to the E, M or R trains. Sunnyside is in the borough of Queens. What is the confusion with borough vs. boro?
Bloomberg will probably try to change NYC to Bloomberg City before he leaves office. And Quinn will back it.
DOn’t change it!! I have fun saying “Ed Krotch Bridge”
Finally! Even though Ed Koch was an good mayor, it made no sense to have his name placed on the Queensboro Bridge. If he had nothing to do with Queens, then why is this city doing useless acts for whatever the reason may be? I can’t wait till Mr. Bloomberg is out of office.
@Micky, I am not a cop and don’t have any police officers in my family. I recognize there are many opinions on the legislation; my major issue at this point is that there is no press coverage and seemingly little community discussion on what I think is a very important public issue that will impact the quality of life in Sunnyside for years to come. Let’s get a conversation going and then we can engage in point by point discourse.
@Micky – In your vast experience with police forces (the grammar police excluded), which force was better than the NYPD?
I want Brooklyn Battery Tunnel back too. Hugh L Carey tunnel is a ridiculous name!
If we’re going to change the names, at least get corporate sponsors so the city can make some money. How about the Big “APPLE” Bridge or the Google Tunnel? 🙂
Change the name of the bridge back – Koch et al feel contempt for Queens anyway. All hail Queen Christine Quinn who will destroy us.
I could not agree more. Koch had nothing to do with Queens. Why foist a name-change on us with no consultation? I never call it by that name. On top of it, at the time Koch was alive. Just mutual back-scratching. No disrespect to Koch, but name something else after him. Go, Vallone. But phase it out, so a gazillion dollars is not spent on changing signs again. What a waste of money the first time was.
Then we should change the Jackie Robinson Parkway back to the Interboro Parkway while we’re at it…
I’m all for this- removing Koch & RFK from both of these bridges. Can it be done inexpensively, and how can we make sure this sort of thing does not happen in the future. I should mention, though: I call it the 59th St. Bridge. Queensborough is the name of the station.
And we will eventually need to address this borough/boro thing, but I guess it can wait.
JOR,you are a good and decent person,i would say you are a cop,but Ray Kellys police force are the most useless,lazy,gutless police force i have seen in the last years,it is really sad.
The name given to the 59th Street is important no doubt, but where’s the news coverage on the City Council’s passing of the anti-police legislation and Sunnyside’s City Council representative’s role in handcuffing Ray Kelly and promoting lawsuits against the Police Department?
At least it’s called the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. When they renamed the Triborough to RFK they eliminated the Triborough name altogether. Ed Koch served New York much longer than the carpetbagger RFK. If you take the Ed Koch name off, then you have to take RFK off the Tribough.
Queens “doesn’t get no respect!”
Perhaps a truck like the one that took out the Winged Fist sign on 43rd street will be kind enough to come by and knock down the sign with Koch’s name.
Let’s end this practice of politicians jerking each other off by naming important infrastructure after each other.
It is depressing to me to be in favor of taking a deceased public servant’s name off of a landmark, but it should not have happened, and I am.
Perhaps, if Vallone’s efforts are unsuccessful, legislators might propose legislation something like, “The People’s Property,” where all renaming or dual renaming is subject to same guidelines with which average New Yorkers must comply.
“No Renaming Without Representation”
I fully back Mr. Vallone’s effort. Koch was a great mayor but he had NOTHING TO DO WITH QUEENS. Bloomberg just shoved it to Queens, because he is a thoughtless, shallow bully.
Take RFK’s name off the Triborough while you’re at it Pedro.