Plan Philly: South Kensington Residents Mixed on Spitting

Sierra Bermudez said she spits in the sidewalk or the street. She said she doesn’t usually think about where.

Pedestrians need to focus while walking down a street—sometimes just to watch out for spit.

South Kensington residents explained that spitting is common. Some said they found it gross, while other residents who do actually spit on the street or sidewalk explained why.

“I think it’s disgusting. You shouldn’t be doing that with kids playing out here,” said resident Marita Cruz.

She said she thinks it happens everywhere, not just in her neighborhood. “A lot of people like to do that.”

Her daughter, Marie, said she sees spitting as a health issue.

“That’s someone’s germs [in the] saliva that you’re putting out there. You’re tracking it with your shoes inside your house,” she said. “If you break it down, it’s trifling.”

Kathrine Fontaez said she thinks spitting in the street or sidewalk is about convenience.

“I see people do it, nine out of 10,” she said. “After I smoke a cigarette, I have to spit. That’s it, really.”

Fontaez said she tries to spit somewhere where pedestrians are not affected. “I don’t do it on the sidewalk. I do it on the street.”

“I guess it’s better out than in.”

The sidewalk size determines where Sierra Bermudez spits after she smokes a cigarette.

Ricardo Aponte, William Purcell and Julian Ocampo said they think spitting in the sidewalks or streets just happens.

“Maybe like on the side of me if I’m walking on a big sidewalk, [or] if I’m walking on a small sidewalk, it’s on the street.” Bermudez said.

William Purcell said he doesn’t aim to spit near grass or trees and usually just spits wherever is closest—often on the sidewalk.

“Why in the grass? That’s kind of far and if I spit, it might come back at me,” Purcell said. He said he thinks spitting in the street or sidewalks is not a problem—just a daily habit.

“It doesn’t bother me because I do it too.”


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