The answer would be similar for a concerned citizen seeking directions to a meeting of the 103rd Precinct Community Council or the Brinkerhoff Action Association, which take place at St. Benedict the Moor Church, located at the intersection of Merrick Boulevard and Brinkerhoff Avenue.So what's with Bronkerhoff?For the more than two months, residents of Jamaica were perplexed as they drove on Merrick Boulevard, heading north passed 111th or south passed 109th Avenue, under a large green street sign with an obvious misspelling. The sign across Merrick Boulevard read: "110 Av-Bronkerhoff Av" on both the north and south side. The smaller street sign, affixed to the street light was correct, reading: "110th Av," with "Brinkerhoff Av" underneath."The whole community has noticed, it came up at our meeting," said Irving Hicks, the president of the Brinkerhoff Action Association. "They think it's ridiculous."According to local residents, Brinckerhoff Avenue has always been Brinckerhoff Avenue, named for a prominent family that came to New York from Holland in the 17th century and eventually settled in Queens. Hicks said the street name goes back at least 40 years. A map of Jamaica from 1873 shows that the Brinckerhoff (the name is spelled with a 'c') family owned large swaths of land in what is now downtown Jamaica and in April 1874, the Democratic Party made John Brinckerhoff the supervisor of the town of Jamaica.But for some reason the city changed the name of the road, which falls between 109th and 111th avenues, to 110th Avenue in the late 1980s, said Yvonne Reddick, the Community Board 12 District Manager."It was done without the community's knowledge,' Reddick said. "They didn't ask anyone." The city Department of Transportation, at the prodding of the community, eventually agreed to change the name of the street back to Brinkerhoff in the mid-1990s, longtime residents said.But for the last few months, the large green signs over Merrick Boulevard have read "110 Av-Bronkerhoff Av," and residents have taken notice. A DOT spokesman blamed the mistake on a company hired by DOT to install new signs along Merrick Boulevard.Craig Chin, a spokesman for DOT, said the signs were taken down last Thursday, after DOT learned of the misspelling. Chin said it was unclear when new signs would be installed. "They have ordered the signs with the correct spelling and when they arrive they will be installed," Chin said, referring to the company blamed for the mix-up.Chin said the incorrect signs were installed on Nov. 1.Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2007 Community News Group
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