New street name honors Woodside civic founder

U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (c.) pulls a covering off a street sign in memory of Martin Trainor, as he is surrounded by (l.-r.) Trainor's son Michael, Michael's wife Bernadette, Trainor's grandson Thomas and nephew Patrick, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and state Assemblywoman Margaret Markey. The northwest corner of 58th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside was renamed for Trainor. Photo by Christina Santucci
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The Woodside neighborhood honored one of its fiercest advocates at a street renaming Sunday.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and about 25 others unveiled the new “Martin M. Trainor Way,” at northwest corner of 58th Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside.

Trainor, who died in August 2009 at the age of 84, was best known as the co-founder of the neighborhood’s community services organization Woodside on the Move and former president of Community Board 2.

He was also a member of the Anoroc Democratic Club, St. Sebastian’s Church and the local Knights of Columbus. He worked as an attorney.

“This sign will be here forever as a permanent reminder of all that he did,” said Van Bramer, who advocated for the street rename.

Before the unveiling, Van Bramer, other elected officials and civic activists spoke of Trainor’s passion for the neighborhood.

“Martin was always very positive and he was always thinking about the next thing that we should be working on,” said U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights).

Members of Trainor’s family also came to the ceremony. Son Michael, daughter-in-law Bernadette and grandson Thomas, 13, were in attendance, as well as nephew Patrick Trainor. Two other grandsons — Michael and Matthew — were away at school.

Michael Trainor said his family moved to Woodside in the early 1960s, eventually setting down on 57th Avenue.

“He would have passed by here all the time in his travels,” Michael Trainor said of the intersection.

He said his father kept active before forming Woodside on the Move and spent countless hours working to improve the neighborhood.

“It was in my dad’s DNA to service the community,” Michael Trainor said.

State Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth) described Martin Trainor as a “very good human being.”

“We miss him and we recognize him today for all the work that he’s done,” she said.

Crowley described Martin Trainor as the consistent face of Woodside on the Move. He said the street renaming, and all street renamings, are about keeping someone’s memory alive.

“It is about reminding people about people who left an indelible mark and Martin did that,” Crowley said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 11:33 pm, October 3, 2012
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