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Abandoned car tagged with 'street art' sticker highlights long time issue

Neighbors off Eastern Parkway said the car has been sitting there for months. Over the weekend, someone added a sign making a jab at the city.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An abandoned car at Eastern Parkway and Barret Avenue is bringing up an ongoing problem in Louisville of cars sitting abandoned for months.

Neighbors in the area said this particular car had been there since at least August. Then, over the weekend, someone added a sign reading "Street Art: Complements of the Office of the Mayor." 

District 8 Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong represents the area, and said she's been receiving calls about the car for months.

"It's really frustrating to residents, and understandably so, because they can see exactly where government is failing to do what it should be doing," Armstrong said.  

RELATED: Abandoned cars littering Louisville streets lead neighborhood association to start petition

Armstrong said she met with LMPD's Fifth Division about the car this week. The problem, she told WHAS11, is that the city's tow lot is full.

Council President David James says the city was given about $2 million dollars two years ago for a new lot, but hasn't purchased the land yet. 

"I'm just hoping the administration will find a location they can purchase so we can start putting vehicles there," James said. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Mayor's office wrote "the administration continues to work with Metro Facilities and LMPD on finding a solution to getting abandoned vehicles off of the street."

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for LMPD said "Metro Facilities handles the purchase of property and is working with LMPD. At this time it does not appear there are any viable options available for sale. We will continue to explore options with Metro Facilities as they become available. In the meantime, we are currently working towards a multi-faceted solution to manage and reduce the number of vehicles at the tow lot."

James estimated the existing lot can hold about 1700 cars, but currently has around 2,900. 

Chambers Armstrong said LMPD has to prioritize cars that are wrecked or abandoned on the interstate, or that are involved in investigations. 

"They are so far down on the chain that on any neighborhood street throughout our city there just aren't the resources to be towing vehicles," she said of cars left in neighborhoods.

The calls just keep coming. According to data obtained in a WHAS11 records request, in a 2 year period, 311 took about 12,000 calls of parking issues. They were unable to isolate calls just of abandoned cars. 

James and Chambers Armstrong said they aren't just worried about the eyesore, or getting the cars removed from the road. They said the vehicles could be a major safety issue. 

“This vehicle is obstructing traffic, it could be a real safety hazard, what is it going to take to get this vehicle moved," Chambers Armstrong said. 

"Its just going to be a matter of time before some child's ball rolls under one of these cars and something really unfortunate happens," James said.

Chambers Armstrong said she'd hoped LMPD would remove the car at Eastern and Barret after her meeting this week, but as of Thursday morning, it was still there.

RELATED: Abandoned cars littering Louisville streets lead neighborhood association to start petition

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