Crashed cars take up too many spaces on 27th Street, say residents

January 17, 2013 Denise Romano
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A Sunset Park auto collision repair shop is taking up spaces by parking totaled cars along 27th Street, leaving few spots for residents.

For the past five years, Americal Collision Inc. has been parking smashed-up vehicles in legal spaces on both sides of the block, according to a long-time resident who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions.

At the 72nd Precinct Community Council meeting on January 8, the homeowner said that he observed 16 parked cars left by the collision shop at one time. In some cases, the cars obstruct the sidewalk, sometimes for a whole weekend, he contended.

“It seems like a virus and keeps on spreading,” he said, adding that he is now noticing demolished cars along Fifth Avenue near 24th and 23rd Streets.

“He should have a [parking] lot. It is getting progressively worse,” he went on. “I have to park blocks away from my house because I can’t find a spot on my block.”

When this paper went to investigate the situation, we saw at least 10 damaged cars parked in legal spaces along 27th Street, just off of Fifth Avenue.

Captain James Grant, commanding officer of the 72nd Precinct, said that he is on top of the situation, which is difficult to resolve because cars with license plates on them – like these totaled vehicles – cannot be towed. He said that he is beginning a new sting operation at the end of the month and has already issued “numerous summonses.

“I feel for you, believe me,” Grant said to the resident, adding that the next step is to present the situation to the Department of Consumer Affairs. “I will resolve it somehow. It’s hard, there is so much red tape.”

Both Grant and the resident say they have had the same experience with the owner of the shop.

“The guy yesses us to death, moves the cars and they get moved back,” Grant said. “It bothers me that we aren’t able to correct this. We have all hands on deck.”

The manager of Americal Collision had not responded to a request for comment as this paper went to press.

A spokesperson for Councilmember Sara Gonzalez’s office said they were also looking into the situation and were in touch with law enforcement about the matter.

But the resident just wants to see something done. “I feel like I have been spitting in the wind,” he said. “It’s a disaster.”

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