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


More in:

Comments [7]

Silversalty from The Great Borough of Brooklyn!

We live in such unrepresentative times. The will of the people is a trivial nuisance to "our bettors."

Isn't it ironic that the mayor who showed us the need for term limits (remember when Koch - pronounced "Koch" - stopped saying "How'm I doin'?" because he was 'Doin' like Doo?') is to have a city icon named for him by the mayor that had this same council over-rule a popular vote limiting the number of terms a mayor can serve - so he could "serve" longer. Again demonstrating the need for term limits?

Mar. 25 2011 07:34 PM
mason from Astoria

The vast majority of people on this site who are complaining about tax dollar waste are idiots. Why? Because they did not even bother reading the article. If they had, they would see that this is being funded by private donations.


Mar. 25 2011 12:47 PM
Joe from Queens

What waste of money? The signage costs are being covered by private donations, NOT tax dollars. The argument that it's costly is not valid.

Mar. 23 2011 10:33 PM
Lynn from Sunnyside, New York

There is so much other things to worry about and we don't need to waste our tax money on renaming the bridge. What about our kids education and teachers, what about the increase on subway fares? (private funds? you know somehow it will still come out of our taxes!)

Mar. 23 2011 09:54 PM
Michael Meltzer

P.T. Barnum is alive and well in Greenwich Village. He sold us the Queensboro Bridge!

Mar. 23 2011 09:29 PM
nel from nyc

i know there are far worse things going on in the world, but i find this so disheartening. a beautiful symbol of the boro is ruined. though they may change the signs, i hope every NYer continues to call it the Queensboro/59th st. bridge. I know I will.

Mar. 23 2011 07:16 PM

So disappointed but not surprised to see the results of this vote. Two polls showed New Yorkers did not favor this move but the City Council passed it anyway. It is disrespectful to Queens (would they ever change the name of the Brooklyn Bridge?) and a waste of tax dollars in difficult times. Politicians stand by their own.

Mar. 23 2011 04:40 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by