While you would be hard-pressed to find many who refer to the new Tappan Zee Bridge by its official name -- the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge -- there's now a petition circulating to ditch the Cuomo designation altogether.
Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?
The new bridge shouldn't be named after any person
Hudson Valley voices are among thousands of New Yorkers being heard as they protest the official naming of the new bridge, instead urging that it return to its original name, the Tappan Zee, saying “that bridge is our history.”
As of Saturday afternoon, more than 32,000 signatures were garnered online by people protesting the naming of the bridge after the former governor, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying “my father doesn’t have anything named after him. I thought it was a good idea.”
According to multiple reports, the bill to rename the bridge for the elder Cuomo was introduced at the end of a long legislative session by a Suffolk County state senator. It came under immediate criticism by both residents and local politicians.
"Mario Cuomo has no connection whatsoever to Westchester or Rockland," Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said earlier this year.
In a statement, the organization Reclaim New York lambasted the naming proposal, calling it "absurd."
“The governor and Albany lawmakers spent the scheduled legislative session’s late hours on a push to name the new Tappan Zee bridge, even though they still have not identified how to pay for it. It’s absurd to name the bridge before commuters and taxpayers even know how much this massive project will cost them in tolls, taxes, or debt. In true Albany style, they debated naming a bridge before tackling ethics reform, mandate relief, local tax extenders, or finding a way to keep more money in New Yorkers’ pockets.
"Since citizens are paying for the bridge, they should get to decide what it's called."
“The governor’s sly attempt to put his family’s name on the bridge, which he can’t figure out how to pay for, even with his massive toll hikes on the horizon, is simply outrageous," Astorino added in June. "Governor Wilson lived in Westchester and should not have his name stripped from the Tappan Zee Bridge to satisfy Andrew Cuomo’s ego. Mario Cuomo has no connection whatsoever to Westchester or Rockland."
In a poll released by Reclaim New York Initiative earlier this year, it was determined that 53.8 percent of Hudson Valley residents disapprove of renaming the bridge in the name of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s father. There was a 33 percent approval rating and just 14.7 percent of respondents thought the bridge should be named for the former governor when selecting from multiple options.
According to the poll, 80 percent of voters believe that Westchester and Rockland residents should have had a say on the vote, which was pushed through the Legislature in a “late-night scheme.”
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