New street name will honor longtime Queens activist
by Andrew Pavia
Oct 31, 2012 | 858 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"Pat Dolan Way" sign
"Pat Dolan Way" sign
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Patricia Dolan usually got her way so when a street sign was dedicated to her it made sense that it read “Pat Dolan Way.”

Elected officials and community activists came out to honor Dolan’s memory as the street sign was unveiled outside of the Kew Gardens Hills Library on 72nd Street and Vleigh Place in Flushing.

Dolan was the president of the Queens Civic Congress, head of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy, and was involved in many community groups. She lived in the same home in Kew Gardens Hills for nearly her entire life.

She was killed last November when she was struck by a car on her way to a Community Board 8 Transportation Committee meeting. She was 72.

“Pat was the definition of a public citizen,” said Speaker Christine Quinn. She wasn’t watching what happened in her neighborhood or her borough, she was responding to it, she was pushing it, she was going to make it what she thought it could be.”

Many of the elected officials discussed how Dolan mentored them and worked with them on numerous projects throughout their political careers.

“When I took office, I had no idea how much Pat Dolan, who was not in my council district, would spend talking to me,” said Councilman Dan Halloran. “Whether it’s here at the library, the Queens Civic Congress or her community board, Pat Dolan could always be counted on for one thing: to have her voice heard.”

Norma Stegmaier, a friend of Dolan, said that the sign is fitting, but that Dolan would have said the time spent getting a street sign in her honor could have been used more productively.

“Pat would be somewhat amused, because this was not one of her things at all,” she said. “She was really a doer and for action. This kind of thing is nice, but it’s more important to put your money where your mouth is.”

Stegmaier told stories about how certain elected officials would speak with Pat at the home she shared with Dolan, and felt the need to appease her because of how influential she was.

One elected official even let his face turn red because he was allergic to Dolan’s cat, but refused to leave her house before speaking about an issue she was passionate about.

Despite the fact that Dolan worked so hard for her community, Stegmaier said she was not one for limelight.

“This was not what she was in civics for,” she said. “She was not for personal gain.”

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