Today’s news:

Boro activist Pat Dolan, 72, dies after being hit by car

The remnants of a flare are left on Hillside Avenue at 198th Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

Pat Dolan, a longtime Queens activist who was president of the Queens Civic Congress, head of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy and involved in numerous other civic activities, died Tuesday night after she was struck by a car on her way to a transportation meeting, police said. She was 72.

As the news trickled out through the borough Wednesday morning, her friends co-workers and elected officials expressed shock and remembered the fiery activist for all the work she had done for Queens.

“Last night, the people of Queens lost a terrific and tireless leader who fought with knowledge and passion for libraries, senior citizens, parks, children, transportation safety and every other issue that affects all of us,” said Borough President Helen Marshall, who recently honored Dolan at a Women’s History Month. “Pat dedicated her life to Queens.”

The accident occurred around 7:30 p.m., when police received a call that a pedestrian had been struck while crossing Hillside Avenue.

Dolan, who was also a member of Community Board 8, was en route to a transportation meeting, according to board members.

She was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by a 57-year-old woman who stayed at the scene and was not charged, according to the NYPD.

Dolan was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

City Comptroller John Liu also expressed sorrow at the loss of Dolan, who took the helm of Queens Civic Congress about three years ago and helped found the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy.

“The borough of Queens lost a favorite daughter last night,” he said in a statement, summing up Dolan’s wit and tenacity. “Pat was quick as a whip and sharp as a tack. Her leadership and infectious spirit will be sorely missed, and I stand together with my fellow residents of Queens to mourn her untimely death.”

A memorial service was scheduled for Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at Schwartz Brothers Forest Park Chapel 114-03 Queens Blvd. in Forest Hills.

Kevin Forrestal, also a member of Community Board 8, was at the transportation meeting and walked past the accident scene on his way out, not knowing that Dolan had been struck.

“I was in shock,” he said, after receiving a call Wednesday morning about her death. “She’s a person who has had a huge amount of impact in Queens and success in trying to right all the wrongs of the world.”

Colleagues of Dolan did not know much about her personal life. There was no immediate information on survivors.

She grew up in the same Kew Gardens Hills house where she lived with her enormous black cat Timothy, better known as Timmy, Forrestal said.

After her formative education, she attended a Jesuit college, he added.

Much of her free time was spent on the many committees and boards she was a part of, but she also worked in public service as her day job.

Dolan was the director of Queens Connection at the Kew Gardens Community Center, and organized transportation for senior centers and advocated for better public transportation for everyone in the borough, according to Naomi Altman, associate executive director of the center.

“There is definitely no other woman like her in Queens,” Altman said. “And that is sad.”

Dolan did not drive and took public transportation to every one of the countless meetings she attended all around the borough.

Altman said that Dolan was an avid art fan and environmental advocate.

Richard Hellenbrecht, who served on the Queens Civic Congress with Dolan and helped her found the park conservancy, said the congress will continue on with the work as Dolan would have wanted.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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cherie sinonott from middle village says:
This is a tragedy! We are hearing about such accidents all to much these days! There are too many careless motorists on the road today! Condolences for Ms. Dolan's family.......
Nov. 16, 2011, 11:34 am
Bruno DeFranceschi from North Bellerose civic says:
Condolences to the family of Pat Dolan.
Nov. 16, 2011, 11:42 am
Minister Di Donna from Whitestone says:
Ms. Patricia Dolan will be sorley missed. My thought and prayers go out to her family and friends.
Nov. 16, 2011, 11:47 am
Tom from Bayside says:
Pedestrians and Motorists have to be ultra careful at night
Nov. 16, 2011, 11:56 am
Steve Barrison from Sheepshead Bay says:
Pat was a great community motivator and brought us all together at the civic level to join with protecting the rights of Small Business in NYC. What a horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dolan family and the entire Queens Civic Congress Community. We must all stay united and strong for the common civic good. Having worked with Pat for the last few decades on city wide issues I will miss her deeply.
Nov. 16, 2011, 12:21 pm
Steve Barrison from Sheepshead Bay says:
Pat was a great community motivator and brought us all together at the civic level to join with protecting the rights of Small Business in NYC. What a horrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Dolan family and the entire Queens Civic Congress Community. We must all stay united and strong for the common civic good. Having worked with Pat for the last few decades on city wide issues I will miss her deeply.
Nov. 16, 2011, 12:21 pm
alan from farmingdale says:
very sad indeed! I recall Pat at community meetings and she was truly devoted to making NYC a better place.

Lately, there seems to be a spate of pedestrians struck and killed by vehicles and no charges are ever filed against the motorists. Maybe there needs to be a comprehensive look at these "no-charges" pedestrian fatalities? Doesn't the motorist have the ultimate responsibility for not hitting pedestrians--even when they may cross streets unsafely or disobey traffic signals? How distracted must a driver actually be to hit a pedestrian in the roadway? Was this person on a cell phone or being otherwise distracted?

There should be a greater degree of accountability, in my humble opinion.

Alan
Nov. 16, 2011, 1:06 pm
Rob from NY says:
So sad.

Looking at the location where she was crossing, it is easy to see how someone could get killed. Sidewalk to sidewalk is a distance of seven lanes, a huge distance. No pedestrian island refuge in the middle for safety.

NYS just passed a Complete Streets Law, which is supposed to make roads safe for everyone: cars, transit-users, bicyclists and pedestrians. It is nicknamed Brittany's law after Brittany Vega who was also killed crossing a wide road on Long Island.

NYC DOT has been trying to put pedestrian islands on more roads like Hillside, but it runs into opposition from drivers who complain that they slow them down.

Time to call our city and state representatives and say "We need to make our roads safe for all users, not just cars."
Nov. 16, 2011, 4:49 pm
Suzanne Metaxas from Oakland Gardens says:
Rest in peace Pat. Queens has lost a wonderful, caring woman. She fought to make life in New York City better in ways to numerous to list here. My heart is heavy with grief at her passing.
Nov. 16, 2011, 5:02 pm
Arthur Zubrowski from Forest hills says:
Pat Dolan was a great woman who helped all of Queens from recycling to planting all types of flowers that she could find in the parks of queens. I myself have only known Pat Dolan for over three years. It doesnt seem like much but those three years I have gotten to know Pat Dolan really well. From working on her house on the inside to the outside weeding her garden, planing bulbs, transporting bushes and getting her house ready for the summer and the winter. The last time i saw Pat was last weekend and i put evrything away for the winter and i put up her strong windows so her special cat timmy wouldnt get cold. But at least i got to have a three minute talk with Pat Dolan the day before Pat passed away. We made plans for this friday to Work on her house for this friday but unfortunatly we wont be doing it anymore. Rest in peace Pat Dolan.
Nov. 16, 2011, 7:28 pm
Teresa Noonan from Parkway Village says:
A great loss. Condolences to Pat Dolan's famil
Nov. 17, 2011, 5:37 pm

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