Several northeast Queens intersections will soon be co-named to honor the lives of three borough residents.
The New York City Council approved Councilman Paul Vallone’s legislation on July 23, which moved to co-name intersections in honor of Joe Femenia, Madeline Sershen and Chief Howard C. Haider.
In College Point, 130th Street and 23rd Avenue will be co-named “Joe Femenia Way” for the late neighborhood civic leader. Following his passing in January of this year, Vallone proposed the co-naming for Femenia, who had been the president of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association since 2008.
“The tragic and unexpected passing of Joseph Femenia was a great loss for all of College Point,” said Vallone. “The victories and ongoing battles to preserve and protect College Point will always be part of Joe’s great legacy. He will now be forever remembered for generations as they look to the street sign recognizing his great legacy. I will forever cherish Joe’s friendship, vision and the leadership he displayed as we worked together.”
In Whitestone, Utopia Parkway and 16th Avenue will be co-named “Madeline Sershen Way” in memory of the 17-year-old who was fatally struck by an elderly driver in June 2018. In the months after her passing, the community called for mandatory driver vision retesting and the introduction of legislation in the state Senate requiring a written exam when renewing a driver’s license.
“Madeline Sershen was a bright young woman who had a promising future ahead, and her sudden passing was felt deeply throughout the entire northeast Queens community last year,” said Vallone. “In the face of tragedy, Madeline’s Aunt Rita Barravecchio and family have become vocal proponents for positive changes to New York state’s driving laws. It is my deepest hope that this co-naming will serve to help honor Madeline’s memory.”
Northern Boulevard between 207th Street and the Clearview Expressway northbound in Bayside will be co-named “CW5 Howard C. Haider Way” for the late military chief. Haider served in the United States Military from 1963 and joined the New York Army National Guard in 2003. He was the first person in the state to earn the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 5.
“For four decades, Chief Haider served his country with pride and dedication, and he made history during his career as the first to achieve the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Five in New York state,” said Vallone. “I am proud and humbled to recognize his lifetime of service to our country.”
There will be official ceremonies for the co-namings later this year following coordination with the Department of Transportation, Councilman Vallone and all the involved families.
“Joe, Madeline and Howard each left their own indelible mark on our community, and I’m humbled to be a part of honoring their lives in this way,” said Councilman Vallone. “I know their unique legacies will live on for generations to come.”