‘An Eternal Slap in the Face’

The City Council wielded its rubber stamp in a 38-12 vote last week to approve a law proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to change the name of the Queensboro Bridge to the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge.

We are not surprised the Council voted in favor of this change. Some of its members could not find Queens on a map. Others vote with the mayor whenever they can because they know where their bread is buttered.

But we cannot understand why any Queens Council member voted in favor of the change. The members supporting the change included James Gennaro, Mark Weprin and Karen Koslowitz.

Gennaro said renaming the bridge is “the least we can do to honor one who has served so many for so long.”

Clearly the residents of Queens do not agree. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said 100 percent of the people living in his district thought it was a bad idea. According to Van Bramer, a Quinnipiac poll found that 64 percent of all New Yorkers are opposed to the renaming.

Councilman Dan Halloran called the renaming “an eternal slap in the face,” adding, “I greatly admire Mayor Koch, and I believe he deserves tribute. But leave my borough’s bridge alone.”

“This is all about pride,” said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “Pride in our borough and pride in our bridge.”

Bloomberg reportedly came up with the idea at a dinner honoring Koch for his 86th birthday. The mayor announced the proposed change without taking a moment to ask Queensites how they felt. The mayor would never have suggested changing the name of the Brooklyn Bridge or calling the Bronx Zoo the “Ed Koch Zoo.”

Why not call Queens “Ed Kochville”? After all, “Queens” is a throwback to a time when the people living here respected royalty.

Do not get us wrong. We like Koch and have tremendous respect for what he accomplished during his three terms as mayor, including the rescue of the city’s crumbling bridges. And we know he is honored by the Council’s vote.

But the name change is wrong. Period.

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