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Bike courier killed on Spring Garden after being run over by SUV

One of the busiest roads for bikers in the city may not be safe enough, advocates say, after a cyclist was killed by an SUV.
Pablo Avendano, in a selfie. (via Instagram)

This year's Ride of Silence through Philadelphia will be a little bit more somber. The list of local cyclists who have been killed while riding around the city that the annual silent memorial bike ride pays tribute to is one name longer on Wednesday, after the Saturday death of a courier biking to work.

Pablo Avendano, 34, was killed after being struck from behind by a Mitsubishi SUV near 10th and Spring Garden streets around 7:40 p.m. Both the bike and car were headed eastbound. The driver also reportedly ran Avendano over, and remained at the scene. No charges were announced against the driver as of Monday morning.

Avendano worked as a bike courier for the food delivery app Caviar and Sparrow Cycling Couriers. He was reportedly on his way to work at the time of the crash.

"Our dear friend and rider Pablo who was hit and killed on his bike last night on spring garden," Sparrow wrote in an Instagram post.  "He was a teacher, an activist, a great rider, and a true friend to all of sparrow, the messenger community, and Philly as a whole."

Spring Garden has painted bike lanes crossing almost all of Philadelphia. It is "the most-ridden east-west bike lane north of Center City," according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia (BCGP).

"This crash is a tragic reminder of how far Philadelphia has to go in calming its streets and protecting its citizens who commute by bicycle," said Randy LoBasso, communications director for BCGP and bike columnist for Metro Philly. "Based on reports, Pablo was doing everything correctly while riding in the bike lane on Spring Garden Street, yet he was still hit. Re-engineering important, well-biked corridors like Spring Garden Street by creating physically-protected bike lanes that do not allow for conflicts between cyclists and motorists should be a top priority for the Kenney Administration."
 
The Bicycle Coalition listed the following slain cyclists as to be honored during the Ride of Silence on May 16:

5-11-18 Pablo Barbanegra, 34, Philadelphia

5-3-18 Dean Pryor, 58 Burlington Twp., NJ

2-15-18 Lela Cruz, 8, Camden

12-19-17 Kevin Williams, 56 Bristol, PA

11-28-17 Emily Fredricks, 24 Philadelphia

9-23-17 Unknown M, 80, Philadelphia

9-2-17 Matt Petzel, 50, Lower Southampton, PA

9-1-17 Lorenzo Vasquez, Philadelphia

8-8-17 Josh Goldinger, 14 Lower Makefield, PA

6-24-17 Edward McElrean, 64, Bristol Twp, PA

6-18-17 Unknown Female, Camden