Abandoned vehicles pulled from Philly streets as part of Mayor Cherelle Parker's action plan

The big job of removing abandoned and rotting vehicles from the streets of Philadelphia is underway as the city begins towing cars and trucks around the 39th Police District.

Near the corner of North 5th and Ontario, in front of a vacant, scarred building, two abandoned cars sit. A Honda Odessey, its windows shattered, and hood torn away, has sat for months, said a resident. A nearby Toyota has been here even longer. John Johnson said he walks by abandoned vehicles daily. He said, "It definitely makes the city look dirty. It needs to be well taken care of."

On the 1,500 block of Kerbaugh Street, in the city’s 39th Police District, a red van is pulled onto a flatbed. It’s the department’s Neighborhood Services Unit pulling abandoned, rotting vehicles off the street as part of Mayor Parkers’ Action Plan, under her Clean and Green initiative. Lt. Chris Lantz leads the unit. Lantz said, "Basically, something someone can get hurt on, somebody could get cut on glass, a car that’s up on jackstands that could fall. Something that’s a danger to the community."


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In the 39th District alone, police say there are over 300 abandoned vehicles. They hoped to pull 50 by the end of Wednesday, with hundreds more waiting throughout the city.


Over the years, there have been efforts to pull wrecks off city streets, but the problem has persisted. The Neighborhood Services Unit is expected to hit more neighborhoods throughout the week, maybe finding an Altima on milk crates along Roosevelt Boulevard as it fights an age-old Philly problem.

Lt. Lantz said, "The unit has been here a long time. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years. We’re looking for new, creative ways to tackle the problem."