TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The controversy rages on over the name of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
During last night’s Democratic primary debate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo stood firm that the words “Tappan Zee” will not be added to the new span, reports CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
What to call the span connecting Westchester to Rockland depends on who you ask.
Even Gov. Andrew Cuomo had trouble remembering the right name in last night’s Democratic primary debate, and he’s the one who pushed for it.
“The people on the Tappan Zee Bridge, new Tappan Zee,” he said.
Technically, by law, the name is the “Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge” in memory of his late father.
It replaced the old “Governor Malcolm Wilson – Tappan Zee Bridge.”
For many New Yorkers, the change was hard to swallow.
“That’s history. It’s been the Tappan Zee Bridge, and I think it should stay the Tappan Zee Bridge,” said Scarsdale resident Anthony Consentino.
Gov. Cuomo refuses to budge despite signs still directing drivers to the “Tappan Zee,” and a change.org petition with more than 111,000 signatures.
During the debate Wednesday night, Cuomo was asked if he would you make a concession to a lot of people concerned about losing Tappan Zee? Call it the Mario Cuomo Tappen Zee bridge?
“When the legislature acted, this wasn’t even a discussion at the time,” he said. “The point was, it’s a new bridge, we will give it a new name.”
“This was really pushed through in the dead of night, without discussion in the community,” said political challenger for governor Cynthia Nixon.
“I didn’t think he was right,” said Tarrytown resident Roberta Steinberg.
“That guy has a lot of nerve,” said John Pellegrini, also of Tarrytown.
Bills have been introduced in the New York state senate and state assembly to rename this the “Governor Mario M. Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge.”
If the legislation ultimately passes, whether it gets signed into law depends on who ends up in the governor’s mansion.