NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-22nd) has introduced legislation to remove late Mayor Ed Koch’s name from the Queensboro Bridge.
Vallone has objected to the placement of Koch’s name on the bridge at 59th Street since the iconic mayor’s name was added in 2011.
Speaking to WCBS 880’s Jim Smith in July, Vallone said it was nothing personal.
“From day one, I’ve said this is not about Ed Koch,” he said. “He’s always been a good friend to my family; a good friend to my father. He’s always supported me in the past.”
Koch was honored to have his name given to the bridge.
“I’m full of gratitude and grateful, uh it’s wonderful,” he said in 2011.
The issue, Vallone said, is borough pride for Queens.
“Can you imagine the people of Brooklyn being OK with the Brooklyn Bridge being renamed, or the Manhattan Bridge being renamed?” Vallone said in July. “Only in Queens were they allowed to get away with this.”
Vallone’s bill would move Koch’s name to a different city landmark. The Manhattan Municipal Building would be renamed the Ed Koch Manhattan Municipal Building.
The Queensboro Bridge was completed in 1909, and also has been known commonly as the 59th Street Bridge.
When Koch passed away, many New Yorkers looked back at video clips of him waving and yelling, “Welcome to my bridge!” at several passing vehicles — including a livery cab transporting current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The “Welcome to my bridge” line got so much attention that people made a ringtone out of it.
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