It’s a new year, but the sentiment is the same when it comes to Hudson Valley residents’ opinions regarding the naming rights of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
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
Ever since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the designation of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge as the official name for the new Tappan Zee span, the vocal outcry against the name has been heard loudly and often, including the change.org petition started by Port Chester resident Monroe Mann, which has garnered more than 105,000 signatures since it was started in November, including more than 3,000 overnight.
The petition, which has made national news, calls for the bridge to be returned to its original name, the Tappan Zee, claiming that “the bridge is our history.” It also says "it sounds cool to say, 'I'm taking the Tappan Zee" and not cool "to say, 'I'm taking the Cuomo.' "
In a Daily Voice poll that saw more than 15,000 votes cast, 11,790 said that the bridge should not be named after Cuomo, while 3,819 said it should not be named after any one person. Just 1,214 supported the current name of the bridge.
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.
In a statement, the organization Reclaim New York lambasted the naming proposal, calling it "absurd."
"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."
Through a spokesperson who spoke to Daily Voice, Cuomo called the change.org petition “vindictive,” “hurtful,” and "mean," citing “ugly political times” for the reason so many have been so outspoken against the official designation of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.
“The bill passed overwhelmingly by Democrats and Republicans," Cuomo's said. "Something like 90 percent. And that’s heartwarming because those are people who knew my father, those are people who worked with my father, and they’re not hyper-partisans who are part of this campaign.
“It’s a brand-new bridge. It deserved a new name. When you build something new, you normally give it a new name.”
Cuomo said that it is a way of paying tribute to past elected leaders, saying his fathers 12 years in office earned him bi-partisan support.
“We very often pay tribute to past elected leaders, right?” Cuomo added. “We have the Hugh Carey Tunnel, the Robert Kennedy Bridge, we have the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Highway (and) we have the Dewey Thruway.
"Not everybody agreed with my father, but at the end of 12 years, there’s nobody who could say this man wasn’t a man of quality who represented this state extraordinarily well and worked hard every day.”
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