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    Let’s Stop Killing Bicyclists, Philly

    This past Saturday evening, an SUV hit and fatally ran over 34-year-old Pablo Avendano.

    Avendano worked as a courier for food delivery service Caviar and was traveling in the bike lane of Spring Garden and 10th Street. The news comes shortly after a video was posted to Twitter that appears to be a person driving a car and intentionally hitting a cyclist with what appears to be the 5200 block of Florence Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia.

    This past fall, 24-year old Emily Fredricks was killed while traveling in the bike lane on Spruce Street in Philadelphia. There have been 27 traffic fatalities in Philadelphia in 2018.

    Philadelphia has more traffic deaths per capita than New York, LA or Boston. The city also has a Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2030.

    It’s time for the city – City Council, Mayor, and administration, to put their Vision Zero plan into action. Funding is NOT the problem – In 2016, the City received $550,000 in federal grant funding to install protected bike lanes. Knowledge or planning is NOT a problem. There are design ideas for protected bike lanes. Adding curb cushions and corner refuge islands would protect bikers and pedestrians, forcing cars to slow down during turns. City Council pleas are NOT the problem, as citizens and Bicycle Coalition frequently advocates for safer streets. (We went along with 6 other women in December to talk to City Councilman Mark Squilla to address safe streets for bikers and pedestrians.)

    If Philadelphia wants to claim strides towards being a modern, integrated and green city, it’s time to stop talking and actually take action. There are enough distractions on the road – increased cell phone use while driving, rideshare services stopping in bike lanes, increased deliveries from our online ordering culture.

    The city needs to prioritize and protect its citizens LIVES ahead of “convenience” in 2018.

    Join the Ride of Silence

    The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, advocates for safe cycling, are holding their annual “Ride of Silence” on Wednesday at 6:45 PM to mourn cyclists killed on Philadelphia streets tomorrow evening. Here is the event on Facebook.

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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