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Philadelphia has hundreds of complaints about abandoned cars. Here's how the city plans to get rid of them.

Philadelphia police crack down on abandoned cars on city streets
Philadelphia police crack down on abandoned cars on city streets 02:05

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Police are attempting to reclaim Philadelphia's streets by removing hundreds of abandoned cars from neighborhoods across the city.

The Philadelphia Police Department said the city's 311 system has more than 300 active complaints about abandoned cars, just in the 39th district, located in the northwest section of the city.

They say the abandoned cars are more than just eyesores; they're also unsafe.

"We're trying to make it better for the community," Lt. Chris Lantz said. "Nobody wants to see that stuff on their block. There's parking concerns. You don't want to see the blight. You don't want anybody hurt. You don't want a child getting hurt on an abandoned vehicle as well."

Sabrina Simpson has lived in North Philadelphia all her life and said she's called 311 multiple times because she's concerned about abandoned cars on the streets there. She said she's glad for the crackdown. 

"It makes me feel like my neighborhood is important to Madam Parker," Simpson said.

North Philly resident Dennis Holdel is also concerned about the cars and trash left on streets in his neighborhood.

"It hurts my heart. It hurts my heart because when I first came here it was nice. No trash. No abandoned cars," Holdel said.

What defines an abandoned car?

For a car to be considered abandoned, it has to either be inoperable, without windows, an engine or tires, or have expired registration or license plates.  

The initiative to get abandoned cars off city streets is part of Mayor Cherelle Parker's effort to make Philadelphia the "safest, cleanest, greenest big city"  in America. 

Parker said during her first 100 days in office, her administration would bring a new approach to addressing quality of life issues, like abandoned cars, illegal dumping, litter, graffiti and potholes in the city's hardest-hit neighborhoods. A "public ticker" will eventually be used to show progress.

The mayor reiterated her desire to make Philly clean and green during a visit to the city's Kensington section earlier this month. While touring the neighborhood, Parker and her administration said officials are working to make clean-up events happen year-round and re-upped a promise to plant 15,000 trees over the next five years.

Philadelphia moving abandoned cars off streets: "Nobody wants to see that stuff on their block" 02:09

How to report an abandoned vehicle in Philadelphia

To report an abandoned vehicle, residents can call 311 or submit the following information online:

  • Exact address of the abandoned vehicle
  • Whether the steering column is broken
  • Condition
  • Make and model
  • Color
  • Body style
  • License plate number and state
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