Should the Queensborough bridge be renamed?

February 18, 2011 4:35:39 PM PST
The Queensborough Bridge may not be one of our prettier bridges, but it is an icon.

It has been immortalized in song and featured in many movies such as "Anger Management" in the well known scene where Adam Sandler stops traffic to sing "I feel pretty."

The Bridge is gritty, but resilient, which is why Mayor Bloomberg wants it named after former Mayor Ed Koch, who is also considered to be gritty and resilient. This may sound like a nice gesture, but many New Yorkers are not happy about the bridge's name being changed.

City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. is one of the New Yorkers who oppose the bridge being renamed.

"You don't take a bridge that's already named after a borough and change it. You would never even think of doing that to the Brooklyn Bridge, and Queens should get the same respect," Vallone said.

Mayor Bloomberg's argument is that Mayor Koch saved the city 30 years ago, which as a result, saved the bridges, including the Queensborough Bridge, from falling apart.

Mayor Bloomberg is winning this argument so far. At a City Council hearing Friday, mostly everyone there agreed with his plan to rename the Queensborough Bridge.

Bob Tierney from the Landmarks Preservation Commission is one of the people who agrees.

"I think it speaks for itself. He was a larger-then-life figure and I think it honors the bridge. It will honor the bridge as well as honoring Ed to have this name change," Tierney said.

Former Mayor Ed Koch 86, is on vacation at this time, but he is all for the renaming of the bridge and some Queens residents feel the same way.

Vito Leanza is one Queens resident who wouldn't mind if the bridge were to be renamed.

"It doesn't matter. The man made an impact on this city years ago," Leanza said.

However, not all Queens residents feel this way. In Astoria, even though there are plenty of residents who love Koch, they do not want the bridge renamed.

"I think it's a very bad idea. I love the mayor, but keep it the same name," Maria Mihailoff said.

Whether people oppose the name change or not, it is very probable that it will happen because the full City Council will most likely approve it.

The bridge will be renamed the Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge, but if the whole Tri-borough RFK renaming is an indication, most New Yorkers will still just call this the Queensborough Bridge or perhaps the 59th Street Bridge.