Tires Everywhere in Empty Lot in Fishtown

To its credit, the city has come to the (totally obvious) conclusion that we’ll all be better off if we have improved access to our rivers. With the Schuylkill River Trail growing in recent years, and continuing to expand in future years, things appear to be moving in the right direction to the west. On the east side, incremental progress has been made with projects like the Race St. Pier, Washington Ave. Green, and even the Sugarhouse Casino, but with miles of river frontage to think about, I-95 cutting off the city from much of the river, and environmental concerns, there is still so much work to be done. On the plus side, DRWC‘s Plan for the Central Delaware, currently in draft form, will help guide the way in the future.

Until then, we’re gonna have to deal with the different problems and challenges as they come along. One such problem was brought to our attention by a thread on Philadelphia Speaks. An empty lot at the intersection of E Susquehanna Ave. & N Beach St. has been a tire dumping site for the past couple of years, with very few dumpers caught in the act.

From Google

Not only are people dumping tires on this site, but the tires are apparently catching fire every few weeks. For those who have never smelled it, burning rubber smells terrible. And did we mention the hordes of mosquitoes that the tires helped breed over the summer?

Being of sound body but perhaps unsound mind, we decided to take a look for ourselves.

The entrance.
No tires yet
It was kind of creepy. Some tires in the distance
Tires and trash
Lots of tires
More in the distance

We imagine there are many more tires out there, but shortly after snapping the last picture, we heard something that sounded like a gunshot, got scared, and got the heck out of there.

The lot is owned by Glasgow Inc., a construction materials company based in Glenside, PA. The good news: Perhaps thanks to a vocal local resident, Glasgow is aware of the problem; and with L&I and the EPA getting involved in the past few weeks, they should have a little extra motivation to take care of things sooner rather than later.

It’s situations like this that drive home just how far we still have to go to integrate the Delaware River waterfront with the rest of the city. Of course, with proactive residents, vocal community organizations, and attention from City Hall, we might just have a prayer of getting this thing right in the coming years. Here’s hoping.

Now if we could only do something about that pesky I-95…