Zed-letter day! Pols back Verrazano-Narrows name fix

To the letter! Petition to add second Z to Verrazano bridge
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must fix a 50-year-old typo, according to area pols.

The agency should correct its spelling of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge — named for Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano — which has been missing a Z since it opened in 1964, thanks to a petition started by a Dyker Heights man, local pols wrote in a Dec. 7 letter to agency chief Thomas Prendergast.

“It is out opinion, along with the almost 1,000 signatories, that as we move forward, the MTA should take serious consideration in rectifying this error on all future signage,” state senators Martin Golden and Andrew Lanza wrote.

Replacing all the posts bearing the error immediately would be costly and cause traffic jams, so the pols are asking the Department of Transportation, which maintains signs, to phase in the correction.

“We suggest instead that as signs become faded, unserviceable, or become a safety issue, they are replaced with new ones with the correct spelling of Verrazzano,” they wrote.

Dyker Heights resident and Italian-American advocate Robert Nash circulated the petition earlier this summer calling on the agency to fix the faulty spelling.

The revision would end a decades-long insult to the first European to explore New York Bay, Nash said.

“I’m extremely happy — I can’t tell you how happy I am. Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered our neck of the woods, and we honored him with a bridge — the least we can do is spell his name right,” Nash said.

—with Caroline Spivack

Reach deputy editor Max Jaeger at mjaeg[email protected]glocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.

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