Bridge & Tunnel

Friday, December 10, 2010

Listeners weigh in on the "Koch Bridge" and "Carey Tunnel." Who would you name a bridge after? Henry Stern, director of New York Civic and a former city councilman and parks commissioner, joins the discussion.


Henry Stern

Comments [31]

I can see the Paul Simon and/or 59th Street Bridge and/or Queensborough. They're descriptive & Paul Simon/59th gives 2 nationwide hooks.

But especially this renaming after pols, even RFK, I find absurd as pols are unreliable usually.

The reality/map City/Tourist 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas mixups that are the fodder of the tour guides' jokes only make it more difficult to help tourists.

The same discussion goes with bldgs like the PanAm/Met Life, 30 Rock/RCA/GE.
Bldgs like the Woolworth Buildlng & the Empire State are perennials. If the owners want to sell naming rights, fine, but maps must then show both historical reference & map reference names.

Dec. 10 2010 12:04 PM
Mike from Tribeca

What's next, renaming Grant's Tomb?

Dec. 10 2010 11:57 AM
roberta from Jackson Heights

No, no a thousand times no. I refuse to call the Triboro Bridge by any other name nor will I call the 59th St bridge by any other name. These landmarks speak to NY. They identify places; they have meaning. I will be writing to my City councilman (danield Dromm) to vote against these moves. What next, Mayor Mike? Will New York City become Bloombergville?

Dec. 10 2010 11:56 AM
andrew karmen from Long Island

We ought to demand that what used to be "Shea Stadium" and became "Citifield" be renamed "Taxpayer Field" since Citibank had to be bailed out with taxpayer money. Wake up Mets fans, wake up New Yorkers, don't let the banksters get away with their undeserved profits and bonuses.

Dec. 10 2010 11:55 AM
Ben from Park Slope

My concern is naming them after politicians. There are a thousand New Yorkers who have made a greater impact on our lives and deserve the honor first.

Woody Allen, Sidney Hook, Patti Smith, Felix Rohatyn, Robert Frank, Margaret Mead, Will Shortz, Bob Moog, Philip Roth, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Frederick Law Olmstead, Joe DiMaggio, Paul Simon, and on and on and on.

Better yet, let's wait until even 20% of the public starts calling the Triboro anything other than the Triboro before we waste more time on any stupid renaming. It doesn't work.

Dec. 10 2010 11:52 AM

what is an Idlewild?

Dec. 10 2010 11:52 AM
Don Wade from Jackson Heights

Waste no more money renaming any bridges or tunnels.

Dec. 10 2010 11:50 AM
Econ Mist from Quebec Nation, Mun Tree All

Jackie RObinson is world famous whereas Ed Koch is not even well known outside NY much less universally beloved as Jackie is. Koch is despised by as many as those who worship him. Granted most NYers now don't think him relevent or remember him anymore

Dec. 10 2010 11:50 AM
wqueens7 from Woodside, Queens

Renaming it is indicative of the Lilliputian politicians we have today. Previously government would build new things, with our money, and then give them names. Now our politicians have become marketers, never leaders.

Dec. 10 2010 11:49 AM
CASH4 from staten island


Dec. 10 2010 11:49 AM
thcatt from jersey

Stern's a creep.

Dec. 10 2010 11:49 AM
Kathleen from NY, NY

This name changing of bridges is ridiculous! The new signage for the Tri-boro cost over $3 million. How about this one now? It's still the 59th Street Bridge (which also provides some information).

Dec. 10 2010 11:48 AM
Cassius Fouler from brooklyn

astoriajill is spot on.

He was from the bronx? This makes no sense.

These politicans patting eachother on the back has to stop name a bridge after a mother, a construction worker.

Dec. 10 2010 11:47 AM

"If I get off the Koch, will I know which way to turn."

Dec. 10 2010 11:46 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Why should Koch have had "any more money" when he left office than when he came in, as your guest suggested? Political office is supposed to be for public service not for personal gain!

No, to naming it "Koch Bridge"

Dec. 10 2010 11:46 AM
Mike from Mike

Mr. Stern appears to have forgotten the corruption that thrived during his friend Ed Koch's administration.

Dec. 10 2010 11:46 AM
Dave from Washington Heights

Brian, the GWB spans between two of General Washington's key defensive batteries: Ft. Lee (NJ) and Ft. Washington (NY). Yes, he was driven from both, but it's not a random label...

Dec. 10 2010 11:44 AM
steve miller from scarsdale

I think it's a great thing when we name bridges after where they are or what they do. Who remembers Holland of Holland tunnel? He was the engineer who designed it. How much greater is the Brooklyn Bridge for being named that instead of for Roebling? This naming of things for transitory personalitites is a kind of celebrity graft.

Dec. 10 2010 11:44 AM
Sheldon from brooklyn

Is this North Korea or Stalinist Russia?

You know we're in trouble when things are being named for politicians that are still alive.

Dec. 10 2010 11:44 AM
Mike from Mike

A writer recently quipped in the New Yorker that politicians are among the most despised people in the country, yet we name everything after them. So let's start naming things after people in other professions.

The Saul Steinberg Bridge has a nice ring to it.

Dec. 10 2010 11:43 AM
Josh from NY!

I'm w/ you Brian...
I'm terribly saddened by giving up the name the Triborough Bridge, and other such iconic names... With all deference to to RFK, I wan't the gritty names of places that give our city a special language. I fear Kosh bridge will do the same...

Dec. 10 2010 11:43 AM
rlewis from the Bowery

I think this is terrific, and just like all the downtown streets named for people, we will adjust.

I can't wait to say,
"I'm stuck on the Koch."
"I couldn't get over the Koch this morning."
"Man, that Koch sure is backed up today."
"I couldn't find the Koch, so I took the Kennedy."
"That Koch needs repairs to fix some big holes."
ha ha ha... I could go on.

Dec. 10 2010 11:43 AM
LennieF from Manahattan

It is OK provided that the person who dreamed up the Columbia Presbyterian ads that the mayor is doing
jumps off the bridge.
Those commericals violate the cruel and inhuman provisions of the Constitution.

Dec. 10 2010 11:42 AM
Ryan Beckwith from Manhattan

I don't even call it the Queensborough bridge... I just call it the 59th st. Bridge...

Dec. 10 2010 11:41 AM
marybeth from NYC

City Council-please don't do it. name something new after them. I don't think we should rename things. We are losing our history and culture.

Dec. 10 2010 11:41 AM
Ash in Chelsea

I am very put off by this modern practice of renaming things to the names of people we admire -- especially streets, avenues and other thoroughfares (and now bridges and tunnels). Not only does it produce unnecessary public confusion (I'm standing at the corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd and Nat King Cole Place; where in the hell am I?) but it also erases historical references when one reads or remembers events at particular locations (I went back to my alma matter and found all the streets around the school named after dead school presidents and others who were contemporaries of mine when I was a student in the 1950s).

I think it makes much more sense to put up a plaque somewhere or name a bust or statue of someone and not unnecessarily complicate out lives or corrupt our historical references.

Dec. 10 2010 11:31 AM

PLEASE PLEASE do NOT rename the Queensboro Bridge the Ed Koch Bridge. Let's not waste time and money on something so silly and unnecessary. The new signage for the TriBoro renaming cost millions of dollars (and most of it refers to the bridge simply as 'RFK', which kind of defeats the purpose). We all know there are better ways to spend money, whether it be public or private. Ridiculous!

Dec. 10 2010 11:17 AM

it seems like GW bridge not withstanding since it's an interstate bridge, we opened the unpractical naming of bridges can of worms with the renaming of the tri-boro to RFK.

Dec. 10 2010 11:09 AM
Bobby G from East Village

I think we should name a dog run after Koch to commemorate his greatest achievement, the pooper scooper law.

Dec. 10 2010 11:08 AM

On my bridge naming wish list: that bridge in Alaska ought to be renamed the George W Bush Bridge (to Nowhere)

Dec. 10 2010 11:04 AM

It doesn't roll off the tongue like "59th Street", but "Simon and Garfunkel" is mildly appropriate (although it'd be a difficult to argue that crossing it makes you feel groovy...)

Dec. 10 2010 10:05 AM

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