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Councilman Peter Vallone Wants To Ban The Renaming Of City Property After Living People

Ed Koch poses during the renaming of the Queensboro Bridge in his honor at The Water Club Restaurant on May 19, 2011.  (credit: JP Yim/Getty Images)

Ed Koch poses during the renaming of the Queensboro Bridge in his honor at The Water Club Restaurant on May 19, 2011. (credit: JP Yim/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – City Councilman Peter Vallone is pushing for a law that would ban the naming of city property for someone who is still alive.

Vallone is concerned about the possibility of the practice currying favor with living people who may be able to endorse campaigns or otherwise help politicians.

Vallone fought an unsuccessful battle against renaming the Queensboro Bridge for former Mayor Ed Koch.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

“I am still getting stopped on the street and being thanked for opposing the renaming of the Queensboro Bridge which was overwhelmingly opposed by the people of Queens,” Vallone said. “They came for the Queensboro Bridge and if they took that away there’s nothing stopping them from taking the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Verrazano.”

Koch strongly disagrees.

“Peter Vallone has the view that only dead people should be honored and I have a view, and I think most people do, that it’s even better to honor someone while they’re alive and can appreciate it,” Koch said.

Koch has called the renaming of the bridge the greatest honor of his career.

“Maybe they would’ve done it after I died but I wouldn’t have been around and even though I believe in the afterlife, I don’t think you look down from, or up, to see something happen,” Koch said.

Vallone is also considering broadening his idea to bar renaming any major crossings after people alive or dead, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

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