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Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger

29 Jan 14 - 10:18 PM (#3596675)
Subject: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: GUEST,David Barnert

The idea has been floated to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge after Pete. There is a petition at or

Some background: In addition to his music, Pete was committed to cleaning up the Hudson River and was personally responsible for bringing the appalling polluted state that it was in during the 1960s to public attention so that changes were undertaken and the river has undergone a remarkable transformation. Pete founded Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. and built the boat in the name of the organization.

The Tappan Zee is the widest part of the Hudson River, which runs through New York State southward to New York City. The 3-mile bridge that spans it opened in 1955 and carries the New York State Thruway across the river. It is in the process of being rebuilt, and when the new one is finished, the original will be demolished. The bridge is about 30 miles from the log cabin that Pete built and lived in for the last 65 years of his life.

30 Jan 14 - 12:03 AM (#3596696)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Joe Offer

The Tappan Zee in the land of Sleepy Hollow is one of the most beautiful spots along the Hudson River (especially when the trees are in autumn color), and I'd hate for its colorful name to be forgotten. The current bridge is now officially the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, named twenty years ago after a forgotten governor. Maybe Malcolm Wilson's family would be offended, but I think it would be wonderful to name it the Pete Seeger Tappan Zee Bridge, and I guarantee that name wouldn't be forgotten. If not there, there's a great walking bridge (click) across the Hudson at Poughkeepsie that could use Pete's blessing. It's only 15 miles upstream from Pete's home in Beacon, while the Tappan Zee bridge is 34 miles downstream and getting into an urban area. The converted railroad bridge at Poughkeepsie was opened as Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park on October 3, 2009, as a pedestrian walkway, making it the longest footbridge in the world. I think Pete would love to be patron saint of the longest footbridge in the world.
I love bridges, and these are two of my favorites.


01 Feb 14 - 07:57 AM (#3597267)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: GUEST,David Barnert

Nobody is advocating renaming anything.

The body of water will still be the Tappan Zee.

The "Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge" will be torn down after being replaced by a newer, as yet unnamed, bridge. The web site describing the project calls it "The New NY Bridge" suggesting that it will not be called "The Tappan Zee Bridge." The petition suggests naming this bridge (the first span is scheduled to open in 2016, the second in 2018) after Pete Seeger.

Incidentally, after I posted my previous message, I saw this article in the New York Times which, without mentioning the bridge-naming situation, tells much of the same back story a lot better than I did.

01 Feb 14 - 11:18 PM (#3597491)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: LadyJean

A friend of mine who is an ass--uh I mean a Libertarian, rejoiced that Pete Seeger wouldn't be making trouble anymore. I signed a petition that night, asking people to honor his memory by opposing fracking. I think he's going to be making trouble for a long time. I'd love to see that bridge named in honor of a beautiful trouble maker.

02 Feb 14 - 10:56 AM (#3597585)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Perhaps the "Hamilton Fish-Newburgh-Beacon Bridge" lies closer to Pete's home and could certainly use a better name. In any case naming any Bridge crossing the Hudson after him is an excellent idea!

03 Feb 14 - 12:40 PM (#3597917)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Desert Dancer

This piece in the NY Times makes sense to me.

Renaming the Tappan Zee After Pete Seeger Is A Terrible Idea
by Eleanor Randolph

Pete Seeger, who died this week at 94, was not only a folk singer of near-mythic status but also an ardent environmentalist who helped save the Hudson from turning into New York's Cuyahoga.

Now some fans want to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge after him.

That may sound nice, but it's not.

First, Mr. Seeger probably would have hated it. He often resisted being the marquee attraction at music festivals. And when fans tried to name the walkway over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie after him a few years ago, Mr. Seeger said no thank you, absolutely not.

Besides, putting Mr. Seeger's name on this particular bridge would be something of a backhanded compliment. The new Tappan Zee bridge, now being built at a cost of $3.9 billion, will eventually have eight lanes of traffic carrying at least 138,000 cars a day. For environmental purists, this massive construction project is a form of river blight. It will not slow the suburban spread into the countryside. It will not have a rail line to relieve the traffic.

"I think it would be a horrible idea," said Thom Wolke, a close friend of the singer and his family. "I could imagine naming a section of the river after him, maybe, but a bridge? And a controversial bridge like that one? I don't think so."

Look for the comment by Thom Wolke for further thoughts.

If something must be named, the suggestion of the state forest near is home makes somewhat better sense, but really, the point that this was really the kind of thing he didn't like is important.

~ Becky in Long Beach

03 Feb 14 - 02:14 PM (#3597961)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Haruo

Wonder how Joe Hill feels being the title character in a song.

Seriously, I think Becky has a valid point. siʔał didn't want them to rename Duwamps (aka "New York Alki") after him, either, which is why I prefer to call the place dzidzəlalič (or "Greater dzidzəlalič"). When I was in grade school they taught us (may be an urban legend) that he told Doc Maynard that every time his name was mentioned after his death his body would roll over in its grave, which he found an uncomforting thing to look forward to.

04 Feb 14 - 12:11 AM (#3598091)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Dan Schatz

Pete's grandson Kitama, who emphasizes he's speaking only for himself, writes:

For everyone who says Pete would hate the idea of naming a bridge after him, I think I should provide insight into Grandpa's thought process.

Kitama: Grandpa what do you think of the new Tappan Zee bridge being named after you?

Pete: There are lots of great people to name things after, why me?

Kitama: Because if they name it after you then people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds will be reminded every day that they need to continue fighting for a better world as they sit in traffic.

Pete: Well I do love bridges. I have spent the past sixty years looking at two bridges right from my porch. Bridges are essential, built by geniuses. Also the Tappan Zee goes right to Nyack. That is the only time when I lived with both of my parents, and it was only two years.

Kitama: But some people say you would hate it.

Pete: Hate it? I hate injustice! I hate dishonesty! I hate greed! Those are things worth hating.

--end quote--

This makes a lot of sense to me. It fits Pete's personality.


PS: Kitama also writes, "Grandpa has always respected Dylan. Dylan has always respected Grandpa. Can the country please move on?"

04 Feb 14 - 09:24 PM (#3598429)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Desert Dancer

Thanks, Dan.

~ Becky in Long Beach

04 Feb 14 - 11:15 PM (#3598444)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: GUEST,stevesg

I strongly doubt Pete would want to be immortalized by having his name affixed to an inanimate thing.

I think that a proper remembrance would be for us to redouble our efforts to bring Pete's vision of what the human race can do and be to life...and to always remember that PETE SEEGER was at the front of the line...and NEVER let that chain of golden links break.


05 Feb 14 - 09:52 AM (#3598512)
Subject: RE: Tappan Zee Bridge/Pete Seeger
From: Charley Noble

Maybe if they redesigned it as a "Rainbow Bridge"?

Charlie Ipcar