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Should the Tappan Zee Bridge Have Commercial Sponsorship
I read in the newspaper that authorities may consider allowing corporations to buy naming rights to the new Tappan Zee Bridge which in effect translates into a savings on taxes and most importantly, tolls. Of course, state officials have remarked that a toll and financing task force is considering all options to keep tolls “affordable” and that there are several groups that would have to weigh in on the decision, as well as possibly even state legislation. However, it is a possibility. (I wonder if the municipalities of Nyack and Tarrytown have a say as well.)
It seems one state, Virginia, has already changed its law to allow highways and bridges to be renamed for sponsorship and a few others are contemplating it. We already see such advertising / sponsorship on sports arenas around the country, most notably Citi Field in Queens, home of the NY Mets as well as the Barclay’s Atlantic Ave. MTA Subway stop. Locally, our own semi-pro baseball team, the Rockland Boulders play at Provident Bank Park in Pomona named after a locally based bank, its sponsor.
As far as the Tappan Zee Bridge goes, critics of the idea question whether or not such financial support will indeed keep tolls down which is the primary reason for sponsorship. In fact, a representative of Public Citizens feel that this will create another means of “crass commercialism” instead of paying tribute to local history, geography, or someone who made a contribution to society. This also means lots of additional advertising signage along roads and on exit ramps. Although a few local residents polled all seem to agree that if it keeps tolls down, naming rights should be allowed to be sold.
What do you think? Should the name of the Tappan Zee Bridge be changed, if so, at what price?
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