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Bill would seek new name for Robert Moses State Park

Crowds gather at the beach at Robert Moses

Crowds gather at the beach at Robert Moses State Park on the afternoon of June 11, 2017 Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

A new state bill would rename Robert Moses State Park, giving it a “name that clearly reflects the history of Long Island.”

The proposal would create a temporary state commission to explore new names for the 875-acre park, located on the western end of Fire Island. The bill was introduced by Assemb. Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan).

Moses, who died in 1981, amassed unprecedented power in state government in the mid-20th century that he used to build highways, bridges and other projects, including Jones Beach.

Moses also was criticized for contributing to racial segregation by building low archways over Long Island highways that prevented buses from the city from reaching parks and beaches.

"Our public institutions should honor those who work for all New Yorkers, and I hope we take this opportunity to ensure this park is named for someone who did just that," O'Donnell told Newsday.

O’Donnell included no suggestions for a new name for the park, named in 1964 for Moses, known as New York’s “master builder.” O'Donnell left it to the proposed commission of politically appointed members to research and consider new names.

The measure was introduced last Monday and referred to the Assembly’s Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee. O’Donnell is chairman of the committee.

The bill doesn’t yet have a Senate sponsor, which would be required for the bill to progress toward final approval.

The legislature returns to session in January.

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