February 10, By Hannah Wulkan
The City Council introduced legislation to co-name 40 streets throughout the city, including one in Astoria, in honor of community members that left a lasting impact on the neighborhood.
If the legislation passes, it would rename the intersection of Ditmars Boulevard and 19th Street as Betty Jean DiBiaso Way, in honor of the 21-year-old who died at the intersection in a hit-and-run accident in June 2015.
“I am proud to honor Betty Jean DiBiaso’s memory with this proposed street co-naming,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides in a statement. “She sparked the implementation of much-needed traffic safety improvements along the streets surrounding Astoria Park. After she was killed in a hit-and-run on a corner outside the park, there was a large community outcry for safety improvements. As a result, a traffic mitigation plan for Shore Boulevard, 20th Avenue, and Hoyt Avenue North was implemented.”
DiBiaso died when 25-year-old driver Nicholas Colleran ran through a stop sign and hit her while she was crossing the street near Astoria Park. Colleran drove away, but later pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and is currently serving up to four years in jail for DiBiaso’s death.
“We co-name this street to show that Betty’s death was not in vain – that we learned from the tragedy and worked to ensure it would not happen again,” Constantinides added.
The intersection named after DiBiaso is one of 10 locations slated to be renamed in Queens if the legislation passes.