An SUV knocked over and fatally ran over 34-year-old Pablo Avendano on Saturday evening, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Chris Palmer reports. Authorities said that Avendano, a courier for Caviar, a food-delivery service, “was struck while riding eastbound in the bike lane of Spring Garden Street at 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,” Palmer reports. Avendano was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident around 8 p.m. Sparrow Cycling, a courier service that Avendano also worked for, described him as “an activist, a great rider, and a true friend to all of Sparrow, the messenger community, and Philly as a whole.”
Avendano’s death ignited calls on Twitter for the city to install more protected bike lanes, Palmer wrote. According to the Bicycle Coalition’s traffic violence tracker, there have been 27 traffic fatalities in Philadelphia in 2018. The death of cyclist Emily Fredricks, who was struck and killed by a privately operated garbage truck while riding on a bike lane on Spruce Street last November, marked a renewed bike safety campaign. The campaign focused on improvements to bicycle infrastructure with activists calling on the city to make good on promises to expand bike lanes and add protected lanes. In April, the city held public meetings about a proposal to move the bike lanes on Pine and Spruce Streets from the right side to reduce the potential for collisions.
Why Philly should bring back the rooming house
Co-living may be the best way to create affordable housing in a city that desperately needs it, argues Diana Lind for the Philadelphia Citizen. In response to Jake Blumgart's exclusive story about Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Dave Perri’s controversial proposal last week to rewrite the city’s building code to allow for more rooming houses, Lind points to the benefits of making space for more multifamily dwellings as a way to address Philly’s housing crisis. Standalone homes account for more than 60 percent of the country’s housing stock, Lind writes, and is “also the most expensive kind of housing that has ever existed."
The demand for affordable housing options, legally zoned or not, will only grow as more and more people live in Philadelphia. Cities today are facing “economic, demographic and technological changes [that] are prompting [the rooming house’s] comeback,” Lind argues, citing a new and successful model of “adult dorms” in San Francisco that offer “more amenities, more social interaction, and leases as short as a day” aimed at bourgeois millennials. The trick to making this informal housing model affordable, safe, and accessible to the general public, Lind concludes, is to “simply legalize rooming houses.”
PSA: Historic Preservation Task Force goes to Northeast Philly
Next stop: Cottman Avenue. The next Historic Preservation Task Force ‘on the road’ meeting will be on Thursday, May 17, 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Northeast High School. Meeting minutes from the last ‘on the road’ meeting, which took place in West Philly at the Enterprise Center in January, are available here.
And hey! What a coincidence! PlanPhilly will also be in the neighborhood Thursday night, at the corner of Rising Sun and Princeton Avenues. It is an 8-minute bike ride or 11-minute bus ride from Northeast High School to the WHYY listening booth. Why not make a public participation night of it?