4,000 abandoned cars stacking up on Louisville streets called ‘an embarrassment’

Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 12:08 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Around 4,000 abandoned cars are sitting on Louisville’s streets right now, a backlog caused by COVID according to Louisville Metro Police officials, but it is a problem that has been there all along and started with LMPD’s impound lot.

There have been thousands of calls made to Metro311 so far this year with people begging to tow cars that have been sitting smashed, stripped, graffitied, or burned, and left where they don’t need to be.

LMPD Major Dave Allen told Metro Council members Tuesday the issue hasn’t been due to a lack of trying.

“We were able to free up 100 spots over the weekend,” LMPD Major Major Dave Allen said. “We went to fill those back in yesterday.”

LMPD’s impound lot has been a thorn in the department’s side for years. Per protocol, a towed car must be kept at the lot for 45 days as the owner is looked for before it can be scrapped or auctioned off.

Many of the cars at the lot are being kept there are evidence from crime scenes.

“When people call and say, ‘You have a law that [a car] is abandoned, it should be moved,’ what we have to say is, ‘Yes, but we have no place to put them,’” Councilman Bill Hollander said. “It’s really an embarrassment for the community.”

The impound lot sits near the riverfront of Hollander’s 9th District, an old, unpaved, sinking landfill, bursting at the seams.

“I don’t think, frankly, that on a hillside that drains into Beargrass Creek is the best place to put cars that are leaking fluids, but that’s really not the community’s biggest issue right now,” Hollander said.

The issue is finding a new location for the lot.

“We need to attack the problem in a real sense of urgency, and we need to understand that it’s got to be somewhere, and we need to understand that wherever we have a new impound lot or an additional impound lot, it’s not going to look like this,” Hollander explained. “We’re talking about something that’s appropriately screened, that’s paved.”

The city has looked at around 50 properties, but only one was suitable and was just a bit out of budget: a $2 million 18 acre property off of Miller’s Lane.

Until a solution to the problem is found, Louisville residents from the west to the east are growing wearing of cars piling up untouched.

“In front of people’s residences and businesses, some of them on blocks, some of them have all their tires gone, windows broken,” Hollander said. “They’re eyesores, they’re dangerous. We need to get them off the streets.”

The Old Louisville Neighborhood Council started a petition Thursday to try and get the rubber to the road in Metro Government. Click here to view the petition.

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