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TZB Tally: Petition To Remove Cuomo Name From Bridge Nears 55K Signatures

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with Chick Gallela during opening ceremonies for the new TZB in August.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with Chick Gallela during opening ceremonies for the new TZB in August. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

The petition circulating disparaging the designation of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge as the official name for the new Tappan Zee span has garnered nearly 55,000 signatures from people who don’t support the Cuomo designation.

Poll
Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?
Current Results

Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?

  • Absolutely
    8%
  • Absolutely not
    66%
  • Not sure
    2%
  • The new bridge shouldn't be named after any person
    24%

Hudson Valley voices are among the tens of thousands of New Yorkers that have stood up in protest of the name, insisting it be returned to its original name, the Tappan Zee, claiming that “the bridge is our history.”

The change.org petition was started by Port Chester resident Monroe Mann. As of Tuesday evening, it had reached more than 54,000 supporters who support the renaming back to the Tappan Zee Bridge.

In a Daily Voice online poll that has garnered more than 10,000 votes so far, more than 66 percent of voters said that the bridge should not be named after Cuomo, while just 861 supported the name change. (You can vote in the poll above.)

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.

The petition says "it sounds cool to say, 'I'm taking the Tappan Zee" and not cool "to say, 'I'm taking the Cuomo.' "

While you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who actually calls the new TZB, "the Mario Cuomo Bridge," just as almost no one called the old TZB by its official name of the Malcolm Wilson Bridge, that's not enough for many.

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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