The residents of the L-shaped 2800 block of Disston Street consider themselves one big family.
“It’s a nice neighborhood,” said longtime resident Cathy McCue. “We all kind of chip in with each other and help each other out.”
Some other residents share the same optimism about their block.
“There are a few kids who play in the street,” resident Tyler Komorowski said. “But they always get out of the way when you are driving, which is good.”
Almost two years ago, a super Wawa was built one block away, at the corner of Tyson Avenue and the Roosevelt Boulevard, replacing a smaller Wawa with only a food market that had been down the street. This new addition was given mixed reviews by residents. A laundromat was put in place of where the old Wawa was located.
“It’s the best thing that has ever happened, especially since they upgraded,” Larry Iaccio said, referring to adding gas pumps in the upgrade. “The laundromat kind of brings in a lot more people from the different neighborhoods.”
“I don’t see a lot of negative impact,” resident Steve Jones, said. “I haven’t come across more of a accident increase. But there is definitely more traffic and more people turning into that Wawa than there was before.”
Other residents are not so accepting of the new business and crowd that it brings. The alley located behind these houses is a shortcut to the Wawa and the Boulevard without any traffic lights.
“Ever since the new Wawa opened there’s a lot of traffic back there,” McCue said of the alleyway. “Which makes a lot of us uncomfortable because we don’t know who the people are, random people. People are going over the speed limit.
This is not the first time speed has been an issue in the back alley. A teenage resident said she was riding bikes with her sister when an accident occurred.
“We were riding our bikes in the backyard,” Alex Holland explained. “The car was coming up behind us so fast we had to pull over and she crashed her bike into the fence. She fell and broke her arm.”
The block, located in the rather large 15th police district, at times has less police patrol coverage as others, said McCue, who is the wife of a police officer.
“We don’t have a lot of cops up this way because they are so worried about the lower end of the district,” McCue explained. “We have a lot of problems with traffic, people running stop signs, parking. It makes it hard for the kids to be outside playing because we’re concerned for their safety.”
The L-shaped street has a sharp turn at the corner, which drivers often fail to negotiate if speeding down the street. Children are advised by their parents to play away from the bend to ensure no accidents.
Being located so close to the Roosevelt Boulevard and Tyson Avenue, which is also a busy street, has a downside. Throughout the day and night there is the constant sound of cars speeding by. This also includes the sound of sirens from ambulances and fire trucks.
“You can definitely hear people drag racing on the Boulevard at night,” resident John Breslin said. “Definitely can hear them. It’s real loud.”
Within the past few months there have been numerous reports of accidents as result of drag racing. One racer recently killed a mother and three of her children while she was trying to cross the street. This problem is not one which is particularly affecting this street but the Northeast community itself.