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Astoria street likely to be co-named after victim of hit-and-run

Feb. 10, 2017 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.

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It’s a shame her death is senseless and she had her whole life in front of her.
But I’ve haven’t read all the postings and I’ve lived in Astoria for 20 plus years.
But if that intersection is so bad then make shore Blvd a one way street. Leave Ditmars as is but all streets to 20 ave also one ways. Going towards the river and one way from 20th Ave to Astoria Blvd. Yea it will suck but it will fix alot of issues.


Did he mention 20th Avenue ? I only hope that all that have been injured or have had there car damaged there no only sues the DOT and City but also the councilman and local politicians that decided we should be forced to go into oncoming traffic when it gets congested there. !

Astoria Born and Raised

Betty unfortunately lost her life by someone else’s mistake. God rest her soul. I can understand why some people question “why her” when there have been many lives in Astoria lost due to hit and runs dwi’s etc. This instance the community came together in Astoria and worked with community leaders to make some changes in the area. Some are good some are really bad and need to worked on. The thing that needs to get tougher is the police presence in the certain area’s, have cops actually nab people who blow through stop signs, red lights and race around school buses when they’ve got their lights and stop sign out. Parents need to also have open communication with their young adult children and drill it into their heads don’t drink and drive or just don’t freely give them a car when they’re of age. People need to stop complaining on the internet and actually do something productive about community issues voice these complaints to the right people. My heart goes out to Betty’s family.


Betty was my neice and her death has left an entire family at loss. We may continue to go on with our lives but it will never be the same because someone decided it wasnt worth his effort to stip at a stop sign


What they have done to 1″th Streee? The answer NOTHING!!! It continues to be a dangerous road. This hit and run was used as a scapegoat to unjustly alter Shore Blvd.and.20th Ave. What were the results? Another accident on the same corner and a 12 year old.girl.was hjt a cab on 20th Avenue & 20th Street. I guess their lives don’t matter but only one person does. The area is much worse now then it was before. All our elected officials have disgraced our community. ALL LIVES MATTER AND NOT JUST THOSE WHO AUTOMATICALLY GET TO BE HONORED.


So let me ask you this, oh so called smart anon. Did you do anything special so your name can be engraved on a street so people will know you? Or, are you assuming that people don’t deserve recognition nowadays?


I agree with Anonymous 20th Ave has become downright dangerous. Before the change the road was wide with bike lane on either side where people could also jog/run. Now the road is narrow with parked cars right alongside double bike lanes and traffic. It’s dangerous for both drivers and runners. Not to mention, if you live on 20th Ave and try to pull out of the driveway onto the road, you can’t even see the cars coming down the road because parked cars would block your vision so you have to inch your way out of the driveway. Lastly, if there ever is an accident on 20th Ave there will for sure be a chain reaction since cars parked along the road will be damaged since they are so close to traffic. A totally inexplicable, inexcusable, inefficient, and idiotic change to 20th Avenue. And I never saw anything posted prior to the change seeking opinions of Astoria residents, just suddenly one day the lanes got redrawn. I am still shaking my head in disbelief. They have ruined a perfectly nice wide open road.


Flat Stan, do you mean before the change or after? Before the change I like running in the bike lanes because then I don’t have to contend with pedestrians for the sidewalk, especially if I am doing a fast paced run. After the idiotic change I have to run on the sidewalk most of the time since the bike lanes got redrawn and 20th Ave became narrow, so if I run in the bike lanes I have to watch for bikes going both directions and people opening car doors right in front of me. This is especially dangerous for bikers since they can hit the car door at high speed. So nowadays I can only run fast on certain stretches…Whoever designed the new lane patterns obviously is not a runner. Also, please note my comments on pulling out of driveways and potential accidents damaging parked cars. The new lane pattern is bad for all: runners, bikers, parked cars, residents living alongside 20th Ave with driveways facing 20th Ave, etc etc. Like I said, completely moronic. If something ain’t broke, don’t fix it, especially if you are going to make it much worse!

Susan Pellecier

I was born and raised in Astoria, almost 55 years ago and it was always dangerous with the cars speeding and screeching by. Finally, I think that’s a wonderful idea! it just hurts me to the core to know that so many people like Miss DiBiasio have lost their lives in this very dangerous intersection near Astoria Park. Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of the senseless deaths! And enormous heartaches…

Marion Goudoras

Betty Jean was my niece! She was loved so very much and always will be! This is a wonderful honor we wish never had to be! Thank you Councilman Costa Constantinides!


If you think that the new traffic patterns are any better on Shore Blvd. 20th avenue and Hoyt Avenue think again ! It is a joke I think Councilman Costa Constantinidesis a total moron for changing these patterns ! On 20th Avenue you need to go into oncoming traffic just to turn because you can’t see, then it is too narrow and when you have to park the other cars are right up your ass and no room to go around !

Edwin Babcock

Seems to me, the problem at 19th & Ditmars is exactly the same as the one you describe but nothing was done to solve that problem at that specific intersection. How was that a help? This tragic and completely unnecessary death was completely avoidable with some proper changes at the intersection.
Still – nothing has changed there! I’m always hesitant when I drive thru it.

Flat Stan

Thought about it again. And yep, the new traffic patterns are great! If, 20th Ave is too tough for you, it’s probably time for you to hand over your license.


If that’s the case, you should definitely co-name 21st street and 30th drive Anthony Dipippo Way and up by broadway and 21st street Carrie Anne Hewitt Lane since he was struck by a car and died and she was struck down by a cab driver, who tried to flee, he was intoxicated, but she paid the price with her life, he got to go free, how is that fair? This girl that was also struck by a hit and run, give them a road too but realize, all the people who have been killed on those roads, they also deserve to have a road renamed in honor of them. Just saying..,


I think its fair criticism. If it was an elderly most likely immigrant or black man would the street be named for them. Of course streets should not be named just because someone is a particular race or very famous,but folks have valid points.


RIP Anthony Depippo

The shell of an automobile was a monument to the tragedy that stole a young man from our world. It was hia too. The carnage sat in a heep at the curb of 21st. Triboro Coach bus 19A pulled around the burned out skeleton of a car for days or weeks. It’s hard to tell because I wasn’t 12 years old yet. Jet Beverage was across the speeding raceway, 21 street. And I wasn’t permitted to cross this street to get a cold refreshment and mom and dad were correct.


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