District at a Glance:
The River Wards are dense rowhouse neighborhoods located to the east of the Market-Frankford El. Since large factories left the district, many residents have struggled to find new employment. New big-box retail stores along formerly industrial Aramingo Ave. provide entry-level jobs and convenience shopping. However, the shopping on Aramingo Ave. adds to traffic congestion and competes with traditional commercial districts like Kensington Avenue, Girard Avenue and Allegheny Avenue. Many households do not own a car, reducing access to regional jobs. Drug use is a major issue, especially around the Allegheny and Somerset El stops. The quality and location of new development is a concern. The transition of former industrial land to other uses raises questions of compatibility with existing uses, and the desire for better public access to the Delaware River waterfront has been reflected in many recent plans. The district includes a busy port and large public utility properties northeast of the Allegheny Ave. exit of I-95.