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Peter Vallone Opposes Renaming Queensboro Bridge For Ed Koch

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) - A few months ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got behind the idea of renaming the Queensboro Bridge (also called the 59th Street Bridge) for former Mayor Ed Koch.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane with Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr.


Ed Koch
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch is seen at Gracie Mansion - New York, NY - Jun 17, 2010 - Photo: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Historic House Trust of New York City

"Not for nothing, but who is Ed Koch?," said one man. "I know who he is, but, I mean, I see no significance."

"I thought he was one of our better mayors," said another man. "I wouldn't mind it at all."

When asked if that man was surprised about the opposition to the renaming, he said, "Yeah, well, they got their head in the mud."

A third man said, "It really don't matter much to me. It's still gonna get you to the same place. So, a bridge is a bridge."

City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. says Bloomberg's pitch to honor Koch came out of the blue and the span is part of the heritage and culture of the borough of Queens.

Peter Vallone, Jr.
New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. - File / Photo: Peter Vallone, Jr.

"Some of the people in Manhattan may call it the 59th Street Bridge, but the people in Queens, for the most part, get very upset when you don't call it the Queensboro Bridge," says Vallone.

"I think Mayor Koch definitely deserves an honor like this and I have come up with a great compromise, which would be the municipal building directly across from city hall," Vallone told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane. "This is a bridge that's named after a borough.... Our borough deserves the same respect that other boroughs would get. No one would ever even discuss renaming the Brooklyn Bridge."

"Every group I've gone to, I've taken polls, throughout Queens, maybe one person in all of the places has put up their hands in support of [the renaming of the bridge]," says Vallone. "Every local newspaper opposes this, as does every civic group that I've spoken to. One of them said [if] the Triboro Bridge was a slap in the face to Queens, this is a punch in the gut."

That was a reference to the renaming of the Triboro Bridge to the RFK Bridge.

Koch has said he'll go along with whatever the City Council decides.

The council could vote on this as early as Wednesday.

Do you think the bridge should be renamed? Let us know below

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