Dr. Monroe Mann says the Tappan Zee bridge needs to go back to its old name recognizing Native Americans and Dutch settlers from the area.
"I don’t understand, and no one else understands, why we would want to not recognize these two people who had an arguably greater impact than any politician will have on this country," said Mann. "I'm hoping that the legislature and the governor will take notice."
The Port Chester resident started a petition on change.org that has more than 50,000 signatures, but he says the reason was historical, not political. Tappan Zee is a combination of the name of a Native American tribe and the Dutch word for sea.
"So the people that voted to change this made it a political issue, especially because they didn’t get any feedback from people like me and you and everyone watching," says Mann. "To say 'hey, this is your tax money being used; What would you like it to be named after?' "
Governor Andrew Cuomo's office responded to the petition, calling it "politically partisan." His office also referenced a September Siena College poll in which 44 percent of voters approved the name change, and 42 percent disapproved.