An historical thoroughfare regained its identity after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law legislation that renamed a portion of Jamaica Avenue (Route 25) between the Cross Island Parkway in Bellerose and 257th Street in Floral Park, Jericho Turnpike, erasing confusion that has existed for decades.
Bellerose residents welcomed the street name change during a press conference with City Councilman David Weprin of Hollis, who sponsored the long-awaited legislation.
The north side of the stretch of road (formerly Jamaica Avenue) is located in New York City while the south side is located in Nassau County (Jericho Turnpike).
During a public meeting on local laws, Mayor Bloomberg noted that the name change will end confusion that has existed since 1920 when the north side of Jericho Turnpike was renamed Jamaica Avenue, creating the only street in New York State divided down the centerline by two names.
Richard Hellenbrecht of Bellerose, chair of Community Board 13, said storeowners had brought to the Bellerose Business District Development Corporation numerous instances of patrons being confused, and in some cases, lost business for the stores.
"We thank Council member David Weprin for sponsoring this bill and shepherding it through the [City] Council," Hellenbrecht said. "We look forward not only to less confusion by customers and passersby, but also a more cohesive business strip now having a single name for the first time in decades. In reviewing the record we were unable to find a major business strip such as this that had different names on each side of the street."
Signs reflecting the name change are expected within the next few months.