Council passes five local street renamings

The New York City Council approved five local street renamings, four of which were sponsored by Councilman Vincent Gentile.

The intersection of Bay Ridge Parkway and Fifth Avenue will be renamed Rosemarie O’ Keefe Way in honor of Rosemarie O’Keefe, who passed away in July. O’Keefe was very active in the Bay Ridge civic and political communities; under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, she served as commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit.

The intersection of 85th Street and Seventh Avenue will be renamed Hank Vogt Way in honor of Hank Vogt, who passed away in 2007. Vogt was the founder and first board chair of the Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization (BRAVO), started in 1974, as well as very involved serving as parade chairman of the Ragamuffin Parade and chairman of Planning Board 10.

The intersection of 15th and Cropsey avenues will be renamed Dr. Michael Brienza Way in honor of Dr. Michael Brienza, who passed away in April. Brienza, a graduate of Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, Adelphi University and New York University College of Dentistry, entered general practice with his father in July 1997, and had many other affiliations including attending at Brookdale and NY Methodist Hospital, where he was section chief in conscious sedation.

The southwest corner of 82nd Street and 11th Avenue will be renamed Walter L. Johnson Corner — Developer of Dyker Heights in honor of Walter L. Johnson, the developer of Dyker Heights who passed away in June 1953. Johnson developed Dyker Heights in 1895.He built houses, installed gas lines and planted sugar maple trees and began the Dyker Heights community.In September 1899, he donated a parcel of land on which St. Philips was built.

The intersection of 63rd Street and 14th Avenue will be renamed Francesco “Frankie” Loccisano Way in honor of Frankie Loccisano, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 17. Loccisano lobbied Congress for the passage of the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, which calls for the advancement of medical research and treatments into pediatric cancers and ensures patients and families have access to current treatments and information regarding pediatric cancers. Congress Member Vito Fossella worked with Loccisano prior to Loccisano’s death to get the bill passed. The Act was signed into law July 28, 2008.

Street renaming ceremonies will be arranged for spring 2010.