Akeema Brown crosses the 41st Street bridge multiple times a day, on the way to her nephew's school in the morning and on their way home in the afternoon. She pointed to opposite sides of the bridge, as she explained these locations and her daily route.
"Hopefully they get this open very soon," Brown said. "It's ridiculous that it's been this way for so long and that people did this graffiti that's here."
Many, like Brown, feel that the neglect of the bridges has incited carelessness on the part of some neighborhood residents, as trash and graffiti litter the bridge and surrounding streets.
Shayneesa Wilson, a student at the Community College of Philadelphia, recently moved into the neighborhood, but was told that the bridges have been down for a long time and was cautioned against crossing the 41st Street bridge at odd hours. Wilson walks across the bridge on her way to and from the bus stop to get to classes at the CCP.
"My mom doesn't like me walking across the bridge when it's dark, but so far I've been fine," Wilson said. "But if they would open this the buses won't have to detour and the intersection will start to work," she said, referring to the north side of the bridge at 41st and Poplar streets.
When asked about the potential impact of the bridge's reopening, Brown firmly replied that it will have a huge and positive impact.
"The buses will run, it'll create traffic and maybe nobody will want to spray paint anymore."
Kara Savidge will be bringing Eyes on the Street/PlanPhilly dispatches from Mantua and Parkside as part of her work for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a publication of Temple’s Multimedia Reporting Lab. PlanPhilly is a partner in this project, so expect to see stories from other Philadelphia Neighborhoods as well.