Friday, March 25, 2011

City Council Ignores NY'ers - Queensboro Bridge To Become Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge

1909 postmarked postcard. Copyright 1908 by Moses King. Rendering by J. Koehler, NY. Caption: Queens Borough Bridge, over the East River from East 59th St. and 2d Ave., Manhattan, to Jane and Academy Sts., Long Island City; great cantilever structure costing with approaches $25,000,000; rests on six masonry piers; 7,636 ft. long; west span, 1,182 ft.; clear height over channels, 135 ft.; height of island towers, 324 ft.; width 86 ft.; two decks with 53-ft. roadway, four trolley lines, two railroad tracks and two promenades; will open short, direct route to Queens Borough; designed by Gustav Lindenthal, Bridge Commissioner, 1901-3; to be opened 1908

The results are in! Despite public opposition, 3/23/11 will be remembered as the day City Council voted 38 to 12 to rename the Queensboro Bridge as the "Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge."

Some elected officials worked on behalf of their constituency's interests and our city's history, including CM James Van Bramer & CM Peter Vallone Jr, so kudos to them. Within the upcoming weeks, our city's name-change idea originator, Mayor Bloomberg, will presumably give his pen to enact this legislation. For information on its political supporters and opponents, visit The New York Times:

A poll by Quinnipiac University found that 64% of New Yorkers opposed the renaming plan. In addition, there are great comments from a vast coalition of New Yorkers and tourists abound who signed a petition in opposition to renaming the historic Queensboro Bridge, and this is one of the many notables...

Signer 867. Elizabeth Mueller, Sunnyside, NY: As a proud Queens resident of 5 years, I would like to ask that the bridge remain named the Queensboro Bridge. I love the bridge and its legacy of over 100 years, and feel that a renaming would be disrespectful to not only the bridge, but the entire borough. Would you rename the Brooklyn Bridge after Ed Koch? I think not.

Mayor Bloomberg said that private donations would be collected to finance the changing of the bridge's signage. Well, let's consider the reported $4 million utilized in 2008 to change our Triboro Bridge's name to the RFK Bridge. Regardless of whether private donations will be used in the Queensboro Bridge case, shouldn't we be focused on spending such a sum on restoring infrastructure, repaving roads, preserving our children's education, keeping our firehouses open, and reopening and improving our hospitals? Placing the integrity of former Mayor Ed Koch aside, there is a multitude of ways to better spend public and/or private funds, than needlessly compromising the name of our storied bridge for politician sake.

Is All Hope Lost? The Power In YOU...

1. City Council should realize that the Queensboro Bridge name is supposedly subject to protection under the Landmarks Law, so will renaming plans be scrapped afterall? Voice your opposition to Chairman Robert Tierney of the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission or e-mail him directly at &

2. The constituency of Queens and New Yorkers at large is once again overrode, but REMEMBER that We The People are the true winners, who embrace civic pride and duties, and launched a diligent cause. Some politicians need a Civic 101 course on why they were elected to office. Never abandon your freedom to advocate for what you believe in while acknowledging the citizen majority, & keep signing and commenting on the petition:

The Queensboro Bridge was also referred to as the Blackwell's Island Bridge - Circa 1909 postcard

Circa 1920s postcard published by American Studio, NY, shows the Richard Peck steamship. Caption: QUEENSBORO BRIDGE over east River and Long Island City from East 59th St, Manhattan to Long Island City, is a great cantilever structure 7,636 feet long, clear height over channel 135 feet, height of island towers 324 feet, begun in 1901, opened March 30, 1909; total cost $29,000,000.

Queensboro Bridge 1-fare brass token. circa 1970

Queensboro Bridge 1-fare brass token. circa 1970, 2nd side

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