WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A proposal to rename an Uptown street in honor of David Dinkins has been dropped, after a politician supporting the plan said the former mayor's family was not on board with the idea.
Residents of the River Terrace Apartments at 156 Riverside Drive, a building that Dinkins once called home, brought the proposal before Community Board 12 in May to co-name Riverside Drive West near 155th Street as a tribute to the former mayor.
After dozens of people showed up to the meeting to advocate for the designation, the board voted in favor of the plan, despite City Council guidelines stating that individuals nominated for the honor must be deceased.
At the time, a spokesman for Councilman Mark Levine said he would support the nomination. He noted that while Levine believed that co-namings should be posthumous honors, he felt an exception should be made for Dinkins.
However, Levine ultimately decided against submitting the application to the Council, a step that must be undertaken for all co-naming proposals.
Levine said he chose not to submit the application after conferring with the Dinkins family.
"First and foremost we are being sensitive to the wishes of the family who have not been supportive of going forward with [the proposal] at this time," he said.
Levine noted that the council has, in the past, taken a strict stance on ensuring renamings remain posthumous, adding that it recently did not pass a proposal to name a street after Pope Francis in honor of the pontiff's upcoming visit.
Levine said he would be open to supporting this or other proposals to honor Dinkins in the future.
"I’m confident that when the time comes we’ll be able to honor the mayor’s legacy in many powerful ways, street names being one of them," the councilman said. "If and when the family is ready to move forward with that, I stand ready to support them."
A spokeswoman for Dinkins declined to comment on the proposal.