Bicyclist killed in Spring Garden collision was working as courier

The 34-year-old bicyclist who died Saturday night after being struck by an SUV on Spring Garden Street was a courier working for a food delivery service at the time of the crash.

Pablo Avendano had spent Saturday afternoon in Center City, helping run a cycling event,  before he left to make deliveries for Caviar, a food delivery app, said Stacy Grimes, operating partner of Sparrow Cycling, a courier service where Avendano also worked part time.

In a statement, a Caviar representative said the company was “deeply saddened by this news.”

“This is a horrible tragedy and our thoughts are with Pablo’s family,” the representative said.

Police said Avendano, of Point Breeze, was struck while riding eastbound in the bike lane of Spring Garden Street about 7:40 p.m. Saturday. A 2011 Mitsubishi Endeavor, also traveling eastbound, struck Avendano on the north edge of the bike lane while crossing the intersection of 10th and Spring Garden Streets, authorities said. Avendano was knocked off his bicycle and then run over by the SUV, according to police.

Police did not identify the driver or say whether she would be charged. They did say she stayed at the scene after the collision.

Avendano posted a story on Instagram on Saturday afternoon outside Sparrow Cycling’s headquarters at 22nd and Sansom Streets, where he was helping run a checkpoint for the “Maypril Fools Fun Ride,” a scavenger hunt-style event.

On Sunday afternoon, the company posted an Instagram story saying: “Pablo forever. Rest in power. We miss you so much.” It also described him as “an activist, a great rider, and a true friend to all of Sparrow, the messenger community, and Philly as a whole.”

“He was instantly friends with everyone he meant [sic],” the company said on Instagram. “He’d talk to you like you were the only person that mattered in that moment and was truly a special, special person.”

Avendano’s death sparked calls on social media for the city to install more protected bike lanes. Last year, after Emily Fredricks, a 24-year-old pastry chef, was killed in a bike lane at Spruce and 11th Streets on her way to work, protesters formed a human bike lane barrier and also called for more protections for bicyclists.

In March, Mayor Kenney announced that the city would create some parking-protected bike lanes in Center City, and came into office saying he wanted to create 30 miles of protected bike lanes. Philadelphia has about 200 miles of bike lanes, but only about 2.5 miles are currently protected, meaning there is a barrier between the bike lane and the rest of the roadway.

Last month, city officials held a public hearing on whether to swap bike and parking lanes to opposite sides on Spruce and Pine Streets, a change that officials have said could make riding safer.

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is hosting a “Ride of Silence” this Wednesday to honor bicyclists killed or injured in collisions with cars.