City Council Approves Renaming Queensboro Bridge For Koch

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — City Council voted in favor of renaming the Queensboro Bridge in honor of former mayor Ed Koch on Wednesday.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb with the Former Mayor

The Council’s Parks Committee also voted for the proposal on Tuesday. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement that “Ed Koch was the bridge that brought New York City back from the brink of bankruptcy.”

Koch, now 86, was the 105th mayor and helped repair the Queensboro and other bridges while in office from 1978 through 1989.

Several Queens lawmakers, however, were against the change and said the bridge should be named for the borough.

City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. said the Queensboro is part of the heritage and culture of Queens.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Most New Yorkers agree. Of those surveyed in a Quinnipiac University poll, 64 percent oppose the re-naming.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed the name change in December. He said Koch’s work in saving the city’s bridges was symbolic of his overall legacy of turning the city around and building a better future.

Where do you stand on the renaming? Let us know below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Rich Lamb
  • Dave Frieder

    For everyone who left a comment. You can rest assured that when my evetual coffee table book of New York’s bridges is published the two “Bridges” that have been affected by these stupid politicians will be named QUEENSBORO BRIDGE AND TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE. No other names will be possible!

  • Moral Truth

    As long as the bridge isn’t named after Sean Bell then its all good and that’s the moral truth.

  • Anthony

    Better IDEA! Why don’t we name the SEWERS of NYC after Ed KOCH??

    I think it is more appropriate! : )


  • Anthony

    This idea, of course, came from our idiot Mayor Michael Bloomberg and approved by our corrupt City Council members. Remember, he was the same person that CHANGED the laws of New York City just to be mayor of NYC a THIRD TIME. Doing what he pleases despite what the people and the laws say.The corrupt council of course approved it. Worst part was naming the Queensboro Bridge after Ed Koch? YUCK!!!!!

    I can hear it already, ” Excuse me Officer, how do I get to the ED KOCH bridge?

    What a disgusting group of people.

  • Enrique

    This is a shame on the city council, the mayor for proposing it. It denigrates Mayor Koch’s name, as the bridge will never be recognized as the ED KOCH Bridge, even as manhattanites will never call it anything other than the 59th street bridge, and neither will anyone in queens. It shows however an avarice of pride in this administration and the council…a resounding chorus of what a good boy I am, look at what I have done!

  • Kelles

    It looks like no one wants the QUEENSBOROUGH bridge renamed the Koch Bridge … yet the city council approved it(!) wow, way to represent the *people*!!!!
    Why don’t you rename the Williamsburg bridge instead??? Or is that reserved for the Bloomberg Bridge??! Would you rename the Brooklyn Bridge? Or The Manhattan Bridge???
    (sure … pick on the quiet borough…)

  • oaktownc

    I grew up in the Queensbridge projects and remember taking the trolley across in the mid 50’s and coming out of the igloos on 59th st.

    Leave it alone. It would be like renamimg the Empire State Building

    The TriBoro would be a better option for a name change.

  • Gabby

    Why did these jerks change the name of the 59 street bridge to be named after this filthy old disgusting koch man? They should have let the people of NYC vote on it and let us decide whether to rename it or not and not some corrupt money hungry politicians.

    The image of this beautiful bridge has been tarnished!

  • nathan

    “How’s it doing?

  • george

    if it’s not broken don’t fix it….the queensboro bridge is an’s the back drop for many movies and t.v. another bridge after about the whitestone bridge no one cares about that name.

  • Ben

    Koch sounds more like the name of a popular cola brand… Also sounds short of Cocaine..

  • Chris

    I agree with everyone else. They should not change the name of the bridge! It is the Queens Borough Bridge. Period! Don’t these politicians CARE what the people want? Nope, they just want to win points with Bloomberg in case he decides to throw them some money. What an absolute shame how corrupt our politicians have become. This is a perfect example why we should not allow so much wealth to concentrate in one person’s hands. Also, why the Queens Borough Bridge? I am so upset!

  • Bloomberg is the Worst Mayor

    The people no longer have any right to decide on any matters that concern them. Government was established to represent the peoples opinions and voices; that WAS one of the more critical factors when implementing a Democratic Government within our nation. Judging by this matter alone it is evident that in the end it doesn’t matter what the people of New York want; what matters is what our Billionaire Mayor wants. He wanted to illegally change the law to allow himself another run at Mayor…he did so. He wanted to rename an iconic bridge, even though the majority of New Yorkers are and were against this, he achieved his goal. Meanwhile we want jobs, we want to survive in this brutal economy. Teachers are being fired, schools shut down, other schools are becoming more and more overcrowded as a result. A person has to give up about 30-40 percent of their earnings to taxes….for what? Oh I know for what…for the Mayor to rename this famous bridge!


    Mr.Mayor, We all New Yorkers knows very well that you have to do what you have to do. It would be nice to give this great New york land mark a sweet name like BLOOM BRIDGE ” rather than KOCH BRIDGE. Koch Bridge will change nothing like we did in the past with Triboro Bridge to RFK BRIDGE.

  • ThePatriotMuckraker

    More Zionist renaming landmarks in their conquered land.

  • John Todras

    Mayor Bloomberg thinks nothing of spending a few million dollars, if not tens of millions of taxpayers dough, not raise taxes on the rich, to change placards, inscriptions, hire designers, change all literature, all promo materials about the city, having a ceremony at taxpayer expenses etc., to rename a bridge against the citizen’s wishes.
    We must find out who voted for this and have recall elections. We are laying of teachers and closing senior centers. Now let’s see, ten million dollars could spare around 200 teachers from layoffs. And maybe half of the senior centers closing could be spared.
    City council must be getting a huge kickback. They are as bad as Pharoah Bucksberg.

  • Disgusted

    Amazing how Bloomy cries that there’s no money! NO MONEY, NO MONEY, NO MONEY! Well you crying shrieker, you have no money but you and the city council have the MONEY to waste on renaming a bridge for Ed Crotch? And changing every overhead highway sign? Where’s the MONEY? HUH? Where is it????

    We’re going to lay off TEACHERS because we have NO MONEY!!! But I have PLENTY OF MONEY TO RENAME A BRIDGE after EDDIE CROTCH!

    What a bunch of arrogant PINHEADS!

  • Joe

    The Edward I. Koch Municipal Building has a better sound to it.

  • M .J. Leclerc

    Kochpucker bridge?

  • PHD

    Koch singlehandedly gave this city to his friends
    the building developers,he cut out renters rights for
    the working poor ,I wont be calling the 59th St. bridge after
    this Narcissist and egomaniac.
    I cannot wait to P on his grave and even that he invited
    the TV networks to visit ,

  • anonymous

    Bloomberg always has his own agenda, and it clearly never represents what New Yorkers want. Leave the name alone!!! Why is he spending time and (our) money on these issues?

  • Veronica

    I am saddened by the audacity of this mayor. He’s just puffing up his little chest, and going around changing the city ala Bloomberg. Its amazing he hasnt named something after himself. So arrogant.

    Stop renaming our landmarks, stop wasting our hard earned money, and start doing your jobs!

  • Pete

    Koch was part of a series of very sorry majors of New York City. He pretended to be on the side of the poor, however destroyed the city’s tax basis by handing out breaks to the rich. He was a smooth talker and a skillful politician, but his accomplishment for this city should not qualify for naming a bridge after him.

  • pugphan

    Leave the bridge alone, as a matter of fact they should rename the RFK back to the Triboro. Leave our icons alone dammit! smokersodysseycom

  • Tommy

    No to the Koch bridge, and it’s still the Interboro Parkway too

  • Alfons

    Bloomberg is a self absorbed a$$hole. Who wants to change or bend any and every law to his benefit.

  • Silvia

    My fellow Newyorkers, I’m back. I’ve lived in Elmhurst for 36 years. I love Queens. I love our city of New York. Queensboro Bridge has been part of my life every single day I went to work in Manhattan. On 9.11 I saw the twin towers burning, from the bus in the middle of Queensboro Bridge. Our beloved bridge has been part of the life of so many. THERE’RE CERTAIN THINGS THAT YOU DON’T TOUCH. Don’t fix it, if it’s not broken. If they want to honor Mayor Koch, fine, but do it some other way. Our city is hurting, there’re other priorities. Urgent priorities. If they go ahead with this nonsense, personally, to me “Koch Bridge” will be a label of stupidity! These are hard times. Our city authorities shouldn’t waste time and tax payers money on “Koch Bridge.”

    • Veronica

      I completely agree!

      • Lisa

        I totally agree!! Koch did nothing for us in Queens, Why doesn’t Bloomberg let them rename the street he lives on with Koch’s name if he so feels the need to honor someone. Taxpayers are tired of the City throwing our money away on foolish things!!

  • Derf

    It’s the Queenboro bridge, it’s that simple. When people are driving on the Manhattan side we call it the 59th simply because we want to remember what street to use to get onto the bridge, but, we all know it’s the Queensboro and that’s the name it should keep. Sorry, Ed did not do anything amazing for the city, neither did Bloomberg.

    • Dave Frieder

      To DERF. I am with you 1000% !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bf

    This is the same city council that banned smoking on the beach. I think we should name the Empire State Building after Koch. People are just beginning to realize the voting for the man that bought your vote was not such a good idea. New Yorkers are STUPID. So what can anyone say. This is the man that puts up bike lanes in an already congested city to spank people for not voting for his congestion plan. How funny.

  • Quinn

    Municipal workers are losing their jobs in these hard economic times and now there is a vote on spending tax payers money to change the name of the Queensboro Bridge? Mr. Bloomberg may have bought his 3rd term as mayor but if the City Council allows him to have his way to rename this bridge we are all in a worse state of affairs than I thought. Why do politicians think they should be honored after they serve their terms? Shouldn’t the honor be that they were elected to their positions and served the people? Such enormous egos … how do they see the forest from the trees?

    • Michael H.

      The name change will be funded by private donations. No taxpayer money will be spent on the renaming project.

      • JohnnyQ Public

        It doesn’t matter who is paying for this, it is rediculous. Why doesn’t the Mayor take the money from these fools who obviously have too much, and put it towards keeping teachers employed and senior centers open instead of assinine things like changing the name of a NYC Landmark that despite what a sign may say, will ALWAYS be called by New Yorkers, The QUEENSBORO BRIDGE!!!!!!!!

  • Wilma

    I personally feel the same as everyone, leave the name of the Bridge as is for the longest time since it belongs to Queens and I think they should concentrate more on NYC streets that are destroyed.

  • Joe Pedestrian

    I agree with Silvia, 100%!!

  • Carlos Liriano

    you are right Silvia, what the city council should better do with they time and our tax dollars is to get ready of all the crooks within, read the Daily News, they should all be put in jail starting with speaker, she is the worst crook of the all

  • liveinqueens

    doesn’t matter what name it changes to, i will still be calling it the Queens Borough Bridge. And not to mention that i live in Queens.

  • Silvia


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