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Cyclists lament loss; call for safer streets - Deaths show changes need to be made many on Canarsie memorial ride charge

Dozens of bicyclists rolled through Canarsie on a recent Sunday to remember two fellow road warriors and the tragedies that took their lives. As they marked their second annual bicycle memorial ride, members of Times Up and Visual Resistance honored two fallen bicyclists whose lives were taken in Canarsie over the past year. Cyclists remembered the passing of 41-year-old Donna Goodson and 34-year-old Keith Powell, a beloved Canarsie resident who enjoyed riding through the streets with area children. Goodson and Powell were two of 13 bicyclists who were killed across the city in 2006. Those taking part in the memorial ride on January 7 visited each spot where a bicyclist died, placing a “ghost bike” – a bicycle painted all white topped with a commemorative plaque – at the site. Organizers said that the annual event is designed to remember those lost, as well as express outrage at a city that they believe is not doing enough to protect bicyclists who use the city streets. “We ride together in love and respect for our friends and loved ones, our grandfathers, husbands and brothers, our sons and daughters, our wives, sisters, cousins, neighbors, co-workers, teammates and classmates who were all needlessly struck down,” organizers said in a flyer. “We ride together in outrage and anger, sharing their stories – those that made the papers and those that didn’t – recognizing the fact that none of these deaths had to happen.” The cadre of riders zipped into Canarsie from Brownsville at 12:30 p.m. After placing a ghost bike at the corner of Avenue L and East 93rd Street, where Powell was killed, the group pedaled to the corner of Rockaway Parkway and Avenue D, where Goodson was struck down, before riding off to Williamsburg for another memorial. Goodson, friends remembered, was struck and killed by a dump truck on June 5. No charges were ever filed against the driver. Powell, a resident of the 1300 block of East 93rd Street, was bicycling along Avenue L on an ice cream run for neighborhood kids when he was hit by a blue Ford Probe at East 92nd Street just before 5 p.m. on August 20. Witnesses told police that the Probe was “drag-racing” with another car when his vehicle plowed into Powell’s bicycle. The Probe – which was believed to be stolen — sped off into the night, witnesses to the horrible scene said. The driver ultimately ditched the car at a nearby corner, reportedly hitching a ride with the motorist he was racing against. Officials were told that the car was going over 80 miles per hour when it slammed into Powell’s bicycle. Powell died at the scene. Nearly six months later, the investigation into Powell’s death remains open. Cops are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward. Tipsters, police said, could receive up to $2,000 for information leading to the hit and run driver’s arrest and indictment. Calls can be made to either the 69th Precinct at (718) 257-6211 or the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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