Mayor Fischer, LMPD Chief Shields provide update on steps to get more abandoned vehicles off the roadways

March 25, 2022

Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Chief Erika Shields and Major Emily McKinley to provide an update on recent improvements in getting abandoned and wrecked vehicles off the streets. 

“Over the years, many of our agencies, including LMPD, Facilities, and Louisville Forward have worked with Metro Council and residents to find solutions to the complicated issues plaguing our impound lot,” said the Mayor. “Significant progress has been made over the past several months, including the amnesty ordinance, regularly scheduled auctions, a new auxiliary storage location, tracking improvements and easier reporting through Metro311, which are helping alleviate overcrowding at our existing lot.” 

Efforts include:

  • Auctions: A contract with Auctions ASAP allows auctions to be held twice monthly. Auctions are held both online and in-person, increasing the opportunity for buyers throughout the country.
  • Amnesty Ordinance: In January, the Mayor signed Metro Council’s ordinance giving the city’s Director of Public Works the ability to declare an amnesty period, not to exceed 30 days, in which all towing and storage fees are waived for those picking up their vehicles from the impound lot. The ordinance, passed by Council on Dec. 16, was designed to eliminate a financial barrier that may be contributing to the impound lot crowding, and has resulted in the removal of 89 vehicles from the impound lot.
  • Auxiliary storage: The city has contracted with IAAI for an auxiliary storage location should LMPD and the contracted tow company, Suburban, become overcrowded.
  • Improvements at the existing Impound Lot: The city is adding features to beautify and mitigate any visual or security concerns at the Impound Lot, including lighting and fencing, and the planting of trees and shrubs with the help of Trees Louisville and the state.
  • Inventory improvements: To keep LMPD better informed of the inventory of vehicles on the existing lot, including make/model and location of vehicles, and to improve and hasten retrieval of vehicles, the city has started bar-coding each vehicle to increase efficiency.

Metro311: The city has enhanced its Metro311 app to include an option for users to report abandoned vehicles. A picture of the vehicle and the location are all that’s needed; the report will be routed to LMPD.

“I am confident in the direction we're moving with LMPD's Impound Lot,” said Chief Shields. “We have identified several points of action to improve the handling of abandoned vehicles and the function of the lot. Additionally, we are enhancing technology to streamline the processing of vehicles.”

In December2021, the city announced plans for a new LMPD auction lot located off 7th Street Road to mitigate the challenge of abandoned vehicles.

The Mayor noted that “the steps we are taking now will better help us understand the size of how many vehicles we need to deal with. After that, we can assess what role the 7th Street property will play.”

Since January 2022, LMPD has towed 267 abandoned vehicles from Louisville roadways.

The city’s existing Impound Lot, located for at least 50 years at 1478 Frankfort Ave. in Butchertown, serves as the main temporary storage area for cars towed from throughout the city, and as a longer-term storage area for vehicles being held as evidence in a legal proceeding. Its capacity is about 1,800 vehicles, and today there are roughly 1,250 cars stored on the lot.

“We believe these measures assist in our whole-of-government approach to public safety,” said the Mayor. “Getting abandoned vehicles off the roadways creates safer communities for residents and our officers.”

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