Somerton Civic hears from streets department

Residents discussed traffic and recycling with streets department officials at last week’s Somerton Civic Association meeting.

Philadelphia Streets Department officials (from left) Kyle Lewis, Nick Cinciruk and Richard Montanez speak to residents Jan. 8 during the Somerton Civic Association meeting. JACK TOMCZUUK / TIMES PHOTO

Residents peppered city Department of Streets officials with questions and concerns during the Somerton Civic Association’s Jan. 8 meeting.

Deputy Streets Commissioner Richard Montanez said a new traffic light is being installed on Southampton Road for the Arbours at Eagle Pointe, a 55-and-older development near Carter Road on part of the old Philadelphia State Hospital site.

“The signal will be actuated, which means that it will sit on green on Southampton until somebody is coming out of the Arbours,” Montanez said.

The speed cushions on Southampton Road will remain, at least until the streets department repaves the road, Montanez said.

Several residents expressed concerns about traffic backing up in the area, which is close to Roosevelt Boulevard. Montanez said the city will monitor the situation and try to correct the issue if there’s a problem.

In addition, as part of an agreement with the developers of the former Nabisco site, the traffic signal on Roosevelt Boulevard will be removed, Montanez said. Comly Road will be converted into a full intersection so drivers can access the new complex, plans for which have not been finalized yet.

Montanez also said City Council will soon consider an ordinance to install speed cameras on the boulevard. The state approved the speed camera program in October.

“We have to have them up and running by the end of 2019,” Montanez told residents.

As previously reported by the Times, drivers who travel 11 miles per hour over the speed limit or more will be ticketed, according to the state legislation.

Kyle Lewis, recycling program director for the Streets Department, spoke to SCA members about efforts to cut down on contamination in the recycling process.

She asked residents not to recycle plastic bags, Styrofoam, hoses, greasy pizza boxes and dirty containers. Soiled plastic or aluminum food and drink containers should be rinsed out and recycled, Lewis said.

Lewis also said the city has begun distributing new recycling bins with lids to keep recyclables, especially paper, from getting wet. Lids are not available for old bins. However, Lewis said the streets department is giving out stickers for residents who want to use their own containers with lids for recycling.

For a full list of what can be recycled, visit

In other news from the SCA meeting:

  • State Rep. Martina White spoke to residents about the REAL ID program. Beginning in October 2020, residents will need a REAL ID card to board domestic flights and access federal buildings if they don’t have their passport. The state will be making REAL ID cards available starting in March, but White said residents can get information on how to get pre-verified from her office. For more details, visit her office at 10752 Bustleton Ave. or call 215-330-3711.
  • Hena Veit, a forensic mitigation specialist who lives in Mayfair, introduced herself to residents. She is running as a Democrat for a City Council at-large seat. Veit said she plans to formally announced her candidacy sometime this week. ••

Jack Tomczuk can be reached at