How'm I crossin'?
In homage to the city’s 105th mayor, the City Council Wednesday voted to rename the Queensboro Bridge to the “Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.”
"I think it's one of the highest honors they could have given me and to allow me to appreciate in my lifetime," former Mayor Ed Koch told Patch, adding, "I'm delighted and appreciative to the mayor, [Council Speaker] Christine Quinn and all those who voted for me."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who proposed the legislation in honor of his predecessor, said Wednesday the Queensboro Bridge and others were “crumbling” before Koch, 86, reinvested in them, creating and funding the Bureau of Bridges within the DOT.
Corroded throughout, the Queensboro Bridge and its outer roadways were no longer safe to use, having not been inspected in close to a decade, according to Bloomberg.
“Ed Koch is responsible for so much of the progress we enjoy and the renaming is a perfect tribute to one of our City’s greatest mayors,” said Bloomberg, adding, “His work in saving the City’s bridges is symbolic of his overall legacy of turning around the direction our city and building a better future.”
But on the Queens side of the bridge, people aren't rushing to embrace the change.
“This bridge is an icon of a borough that is all too often ignored and marginalized,” said Council Member Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone. “To change its name would be an eternal slap in the face of Queens,” he added.
Halloran commented that Brooklyn has its iconic namesake bridge, and Manhattan has the Manhattan Bridge.
The City spent over $100,000 to change signage three years ago when the Triborough Bridge was renamed the "RFK Bridge," according to Halloran. Bloomberg’s office said the signs will be replaced using private donations from the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Halloran indicated that his resentment isn’t about Koch as a former mayor. “I greatly admire Mayor Koch, and I believe he deserves tribute,” Halloran said. “But leave my borough’s bridge alone."
The three-term mayor, famous for asking "How'm doin,'" took the criticism in stride.
"Everyone's entitled to their opinion," said Koch, joking that he was surprised the 38-12 vote was that high in his favor.