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Gennaro wants to rename street ‘Pat Dolan Way’

City Councilman James Gennaro (l. to r.), Borough President Helen Marshall and the late Patricia Dolan walk together during a ribbbon-cutttiing ceremony at Willow Lake. Gennaro has introduced legislation to rename a street after Dolan. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

Two months after borough civic leader Patricia Dolan was fatally struck by a car, City Councilman James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) wants to pay tribute to the late head of the Queens Civic Congress by renaming a street in her honor.

Dolan was also president of the Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association, founder and president of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy and a longtime member of Community Boarrd 8.

“Someone like Pat Dolan’s passing – that has to be recognized with a street renaming,” Gennaro said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I never really met anyone in the civic realm that had the passion and the effectiveness of Pat Dolan. The people of Kew Gardens Hills 100 years from now should know who Pat Dolan is.”

Dolan, 72, was crossing Hillside Avenue at 108th Street on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting around 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 when she was hit by a driver who stayed at the scene and was not charged with a crime.

Gennaro sponsored legislation in the Council that would rename Vleigh Place between 72nd Road and 72nd Drive in Kew Gardens Hills as Pat Dolan Way.

The block is the location of the Kew Gardens Hills Library, which Dolan successfully pushed to be renovated.

“She had many passions, certainly, but I would say that among her many passions ... the library was sort of her passions among passions,” Gennaro said.

Dolan’s longtime friend and neighbor, Norma Stegmaier, said she was looking forward to the day when the street sign will be unveiled.

“People can say, ‘Well, who is this Pat Dolan?,’ Stegmaier said. “Now you can walk into the library and you’ll know Pat Dolan.”

Richard Hellenbrecht, a member of CB 13 who served with Dolan on the QCC, said he believed Dolan’s longtime home would have been more fitting for a renaming.

“A street is certainly appropriate,” he said. “I’d rather do her block — 73rd Terrace. She lived on 73rd Terrace basically her whole life.”

Hellenbrecht noted that the library already plans to name something in Dolan’s honor.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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