Brian Zumhagen has been a weekend anchor at WNYC since 2003. His career in journalism started in 1993, with an internship in the press office of the German Green Party’s parliamentary delegation. Brian went on to spend the rest of the ‘90s working as a reporter, producer, and fill-in anchor at NPR member station KQED in San Francisco. He’s returned to Germany several times over the years for reporting projects. Most recently, he won a grant from the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship to produce radio features for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before coming to WNYC, Brian was a frequent contributor to PRI’s The World. He reported for the program on 9/11 and served as the show’s United Nations correspondent during the run-up to the Iraq war. Brian lives in Queens with his wife and children.
Council Votes to Rename Queensboro Bridge After Ed Koch
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The Queensboro Bridge — also known as the 59th Street Bridge — will soon be known as the Ed Koch Bridge.
The City Council voted 38-12 Wednesday afternoon to rename the bridge that spans from Midtown Manhattan to Queens in honor of Koch, who was born and raised in the Bronx and represented Manhattan's East Side in Congress before becoming mayor in 1977.
The majority of members spoke in favor of the change, but Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer of Sunnyside, Quees, said his constituents were outspoken in their opposition to it.
"One hundred percent of the people in my district who have taken the time to reach out to my office — which is more people than any other issue since I have been in City Council — said they are opposed to this," he said.
Bloomberg, who proposed renaming the 102-year-old bridge in December, is expected to sign the bill in 20 days.
New signs for the bridge will be paid for with private donations raised through the mayor's Fund to Advance New York City.
Astoria resident Meredith Tobias said the bridge's current name is part of her borough's identity so she's opposed to the name change even though she likes the former mayor.
"I think Ed Koch should be respected, and I think that some grand gesture is owed in some way," she said. "I'm just not sure this is the right one."
A Quinnipiac University poll found that 70 percent of Queens residents are against renaming the bridge. Overall, 64 percent of respondents were opposed.
Another Astoria resident, Jackie Messina, is in favor of the proposal: "I think he was a wonderful mayor, and I think it would be absolutely a brilliant choice to do it," she said.
Reporting by Brigid Bergin