A 40-year-process to change Douglaston’s streets back to their historic names came to fruition Sunday as community residents celebrated the debut of six new street signs in the neighborhood.
Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, whose was passed by the City Council in March, joined elected officials and members of the at to unveil the street signs.
“This has been a long fight,” Halloran told community members. “I thank you for your perseverance in standing up the a city bureaucracy that forgets places like this exist. To the city of New York, this was a small issue. But to the people of Douglaston, this was not.”
The community, which has two landmarked districts, has been calling for its numbered streets to be changed back to their original names since 1972.
The streets were changed from their original names to numbered names in the 1920s to keep them in line with the city’s grid.
In the 1970s, a majority of them were returned to their original names, but several roads remained numbered.
In 2004, Douglaston Hill was designated an historic district, so community leaders thought the time was right to complete the street renaming project.
“The homes here are in the National Register of Historic Places, so we thought it would be best to jettison the numbering system and go back to the original names,” said Bill Sievers, a member of the Douglaston Little Neck Historical Society.
State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, proposed getting the names restored when he served on the Council and Halloran pushed the proposal through the legislative body earlier this year.
“For decades, people have been trying to do what we’re doing now,” said Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece.
Halloran said the city would spend $3,600 to change the city’s signs and addresses for GPS systems, the Department of City Planning and the postal service.
Addresses for residents living on the streets will automatically be updated with their local post offices. And emergency responders will recognize both the numbered street addresses as well as the new ones once they take effect.
“There will never be confusion for the postman, cop, firefighter or EMS worker trying to get here,” Halloran said of the renamed streets. “And, unfortunately, the Tax Department will know right away how to find you as well.”
Under the plan, a section of 243rd Street between 44th Avenue and Depew Street will be renamed as .
In addition, a portion of 240th Street between 43rd Avenue and Depew Avenue will be renamed as Prospect Avenue, while a section of 242nd Street between 43rd and 44th avenues will be switched to Hamilton Place.
Part of 44th Avenue between Douglaston Parkway and 244th Street will be changed to Church Street and 43rd Avenue between the intersection of Douglaston Parkway as well as 240th and 243rd streets will be renamed as Pine Street.
Also, 42nd Avenue between the LIRR's dead end and 243d Street will change to Poplar Street.