Bratislava officials nix “Chuck Norris” bridge

Sep 26, 2012
One Comment

In more depressing news for the Internet’s civic activism potential, online voters in a Slovak poll lost their effort to give a possibly tongue-in-cheek name to a new pedestrian bridge over the Morava River into Austria, according to The Guardian.

Despite an overwhelming majority of online votes in favor (12,599), regional assembly members in the Slovak capital Bratislava voted unanimously to reject a proposal to name the bridge after American martial arts expert-turned actor-turned Internet kitsch phenomenon Chuck Norris. The council instead opted to name the bridge a more historically relevant “Freedom Bridge” in remembrance of those who died trying to cross the Iron Curtain – even though that suggestion gained a meager 457 votes online.

The 550-meter bridge opened 22 September.

In 2006, Norris was also a front runner to serve as a namesake for a bridge in Budapest, eventually losing out to another American celebrity, Stephen Colbert. And while government officials there also ultimately rejected the popular vote, local leaders in Slovakia at least initially assured voters they would honor the wishes of the public.

Image courtesy Lou Hernandez (U.S. Air Force)/Wikimedia


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Transitions Online

Transitions Online (www.tol.org) is an Internet magazine that covers political, social, cultural, and economic issues in the former communist countries of Europe and Central Asia. The magazine has a strong network of local contributors, who provide valuable insight into events in the region’s 29 countries.
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