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Friends keep vigil for park crash victim

for The Brooklyn Paper
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A beloved Prospect Park volunteer was badly injured — and is now in a coma — after a collision with a cyclist on her own turf last Thursday.

Linda Cohen, a 54-year-old power-walker, was crossing West Lake Drive near the Vanderbilt Playground at 2:50 pm, when she was struck by a 61-year-old racing cyclist headed southbound, according to cops.

Cohen was rushed to Kings County Hospital, where doctors induced a coma, according to the blog, A Walk in the Park, which first reported the Nov. 3 accident.

Cohen’s friends and a nephew have been keeping vigil at the hospital, as Cohen has no children. A brother is also in from Texas.

“It’s terrible to see her this way,” said her friend, Nancy Moccaldi. “She’s such a vibrant and active person.”

Another friend, Florence Weintraub of Windsor Terrace, said that Cohen walked five miles a day in the park.

“She’s intimately familiar with the park, which is why it’s so surprising that she was hit,” Weintraub said. “She was at my house the day before she was hit, and we were actually discussing the danger of the bikes and how there need to be more regulations.”

The crash comes after at least three cycling-related accidents plagued the park this past summer — and after park-goers complained to the city about hazy bike-and-walking path rules on the very same loop.

In this case, the cyclist stayed at the scene and was not issued a summons or charged with a crime.

“We all just have to be careful and pay attention,” said Paul Nelson, spokesman for Prospect Park Alliance. “Our thoughts and prayers are with [Cohen] and her family for a speedy and full recovery.”

A task force will meet next week to examine how to better — and more safely — share the street.

Prospect Park Road Sharing Task Force [meet at the Prospect Park picnic house, south of the Third Street entrance, (646) 393-9031], Nov. 16, 6 pm.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

Juan from Gowanus says:
Nice that Brooklyn Paper thinks this is all a big joke.
Nov. 11, 2011, 9:58 am
s from PPW says:
Seriously tasteless, Gersh. Get rid of that dumb graphic. A woman's life hangs in the balance!
Nov. 11, 2011, 10:23 am
adamben from bedstuy says:
was he in the bike lane? was she in the bike lane? maybe some info for the rest of us so that we can walk, run, bike more safely??? or is this another topic to make fun of by bp?
Nov. 11, 2011, 1:24 pm
BD from Carroll gardens says:
These bikers are looking for trouble. No helmets no body padding. They race as though they own our city streets. Now with the hour change as well as before, they do not watch as they merge from Smith or from Clinton to Court street. They ram their way into traffic. We are now dealing with double sided parking along Court street, which leaves barely the middle of Court street with cars, cabs and buses towering down the street. Some are seated on their bikes riding talking on cell phones. Others are now traveling with cardboard made sides in their bikes with cardboard foot rests for their youngsters to ride on back of their bikes. This is insane. These restaurant delivery boys with no helmets,black jackets with no reflector jackets on. Is insane. Downtown Bklyn is insane at Fulton and Jay street racing along and in between buses and trucks to bike up Smith street -again no protection -with no reflectors. Why isn't about time they should have permits. They are rude, they shout out Get out of our BIKE LANE. Oh it's theirs. Than pay the price. As they injure and destroy one's life.
Nov. 11, 2011, 8:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I give my condolences to Linda Cohen after what happened to her. I thank those that will continue her blog for her, which is very nice of them. As a result of this event, I say that rules and regulations for bicycles should start being enforced more frequently. I always find it an irony that many of these bike zealouts want a motorist who kills or injures someone to be burrned to the stake, but gives nothing more than a slap on the wrist when a cyclist does this. All Streetsblog gave was nothing more than a newswire when it was being covered in depth here by Natalie O'Niell, who has been mentioning what is really going on. It's about time bicycles start being licensed, registered, and insured especially if they wish to be treated as vehicles, which by law they are considered.
Nov. 12, 2011, 4:55 pm
Pierce Hardwood from WT says:
LOL!!!" Road sharing Task force"???? Made up of Mid-west hipsters that wanna tell real Brooklynites how to better share the road with them! Hahahahaha!
Nov. 13, 2011, 1:36 am
Sister Squirell from BB says:
What about room for squirells?
Please join my counter-vigil to create more Squirell space.
@Pierce, to appeal to you I've invited a number of short, unattractive men with ugly voices, in order to get the opinion of old Brooklyn creepies.
Nov. 13, 2011, 8:33 am
Jill from Slope says:
—— you
Nov. 13, 2011, 6:17 pm
Jill from Slope says:
Phukk You
Nov. 13, 2011, 6:17 pm

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