Home Asides City to spend $4M to rename a bridge

City to spend $4M to rename a bridge

by Benjamin Kabak

This morning, I spied a SubTalk poster urging me to “Celebrate the dedication of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.” It took me a good two minutes to figure out that the MTA was referring to the erstwhile Triborough Bridge. Now, according to CityRoom, the City of New York is set to spend $4 million over the next two years as they go about renaming the bridge after the former New York Senator and Massachusetts native. The funny thing about this expensive renaming outlay is that no one in New York is going to call this bridge by its proper name. It will always, to natives of this city, be the Triborough Bridge. (And anyway, it should have been named after Robert Moses. It was his bridge through and through.)

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11 comments

Alfred Beech November 7, 2008 - 12:43 pm

New York already has a Robert Moses Bridge, the one from Long Island to Fire Island. Of course that doesn’t preclude naming another one, as evidenced by the two Robert Moses State Parks (the one on Fire Island, and the one along the St. Lawrence) as well as a city park the in Manhattan between FDR Drive 1st Ave, 41st and 42nd Streets.

One of the things Moses was good at was leaving a legacy. I don’t think we need to be naming more of his creations after him.

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Benjamin Kabak November 7, 2008 - 12:46 pm

Well, yes. His legacy permeates the city in name and not. But my point — which I did not do a good job of making — is that this bridge has no connection to RFK. Why are we bothering naming something so iconic after RFK?

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Alon Levy November 7, 2008 - 5:11 pm

I’d put his name on a jail cell, in the same way San Francisco renamed its waste disposal site after George W. Bush.

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Kid Twist November 7, 2008 - 12:47 pm

Our last two major renamings were the Joe DiMaggio Highway and the Jackie Robinson Parkway. If we have to change the names of things that already have perfectly good names, why not call it the Babe Ruth Bridge? How is it that nothing major in this city is named for the Babe?

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Skip Skipson November 7, 2008 - 1:04 pm

I think RFK would have liked to see this $4mil be diverted to other other pressing issues like lifting people out of poverty and a quality education for all.

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Kevin November 7, 2008 - 4:50 pm

And yet everyone will still call it the Triborough Bridge…yet another waste of money.

The only thing I can remember sticking is the Jackie Robinson but there are still plenty out there who still call it the Interboro.

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rhywun November 7, 2008 - 5:36 pm

I hear ‘Jackie Robinson’ on TV, but neither I nor anyone I know owns a car so I don’t know what’s more common. I would be likely to call it ‘Interboro’ myself if only that’s because what all my maps say.

PS. I agree that this is a total waste. No disrespect to the guy, but he’s been gone a loooonnng time. The only people who care is that organization with his name on it that pushed for the renaming.

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Benjamin Kabak November 7, 2008 - 6:08 pm

Again, no disrespect to him, but what gets me too is that he was a carpetbagger and a New York Senator for the purposes of making himself an attractive Presidential candidate (cough cough Senator Clinton cough cough). He did a lot for the country, but this bridge just doesn’t need to bear his name.

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Marsha November 8, 2008 - 10:52 am

I was just about to point out Kennedy’s carpetbagger status. And Triborough Bridge is such a perfect name for this. As I heard on the radio yesterday, unless the traffic reporters start referring to the Triborough by its new name, and I can’t imagine they will, then the name will never stick.

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Alon Levy November 8, 2008 - 5:20 pm

So if he had been a homegrown New Yorker, you’d have supported spending the 4 million on him?

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rhywun November 9, 2008 - 9:59 pm

Myself, I wouldn’t support it either way, but it would be slightly less distasteful.

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