Jet ski abandoned over a year ago on busy Philly street finally collected after social media campaign

The City of Philadelphia gave an update on its citywide cleaning program, saying it has cleaned more than 5,000 blocks since the program launched last month.

But, one eyesore people in Callowhill say they’ve been dealing with for months in the form of an abandoned jet-ski, illegally dumped in a tow-away zone, right off the Vine Street Expressway. The mess hit social media and the city took quick action.

It had been sitting at a prominent spot for months. Many, many months.

Callowhill resident Kevin Caulfield stated, "Probably the entirety of me living in the neighborhood."
"How long have you live here?" asked FOX 29’s Steve Keeley.

"Over a year and a half," Caulfield replied.

Right out of the 5th Street tunnel, coming out from under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, as soon as you cross Callowhill Street.

Keeley asked construction supervisor, Chris Kearney, "Are you surprised this has been here day after day, week after week?"

Kearney answered, "Not at all. Not at all."

Right across from where a nice, new apartment complex is under construction, an abandoned jet ski.

Caulfield stated, "Illegal dumping is a common occurrence in the city, but, I mean, it’s definitely a unique one. I haven’t seen a jet ski before."

"If you were a city official, what would you do about this?" asked Keeley.

"I’d definitely clean it up. It’s a hazard," Kearney replied.

At first, people took funny photos of them riding it.

Then, memes were made.

Then it began to be a dumping ground and trash can, as it was vandalized and damaged and spray-painted.

Signs were on it and then everyone noticed it was moving up North 5th Street, as it was likely hit by vehicles.

At first, it was pictured behind the tree on the sidewalk, then bumped way past the tree.

"It’s in such a prominent location here," Keeley commented.

Kearney agreed, saying, "You would think somebody would be out here trying to get it taken care of."

So, knowing Mayor Cherelle Parker’s commitment to clean up the city, a video of the jet ski was posted to Keeley’s X account, showing it next to a No Parking/Tow Away zone sign to see if that would get the city’s attention.

And, it did. Less than three hours after the video posted, a Philadelphia Streets Department supervisor pulled up and called up the troops.

Soon, two trash trucks and a crew of six were on site to turn it over, to lessen the weight due to all of the gunk and water that filled it for months.

Then they picked it up, put it in the back of one of the trucks and crushed it to pieces.

Brooks Johnson, with the Streets Department, had this to say, "We're trying to follow the mayor's idea to clean up the city. Trying to give her all that she wants so we're all out here trying to do a good job."

"She should be proud of you. That was pretty quick," Keeley added.

"I hope she’s seeing what she’s seeing and gives up a thumbs up," Johnson jokingly answered.