In Maspeth, the complaints are piling up as the cars do.
A local auto body shop has been towing mangled and destroyed cars away from accident scenes and dumping them on local streets say neighbors.
American Autobody and Recovery is authorized to tow away cars that have been involved in accidents. However, the company has been leaving the totaled, often unlicensed cars on Flushing Avenue in Maspeth, which has become a nuisance for some residents.
“Everything we do is under contract and legal,” said an employee of American Autobody, who refused to give his name. He explained that most of the vehicles are put in the lot behind the building, and the only cars that are parked on Flushing Avenue are under contract with numerous insurance companies. The contract is intended to make it more convenient for individuals who want to make a claim to their insurance company or retrieve their vehicle.
“The cars aren’t on the avenue for that long, maybe a day or two,” said the worker. The shop parks the car on the road, with the expectation that the insurance company will pick the vehicle up shortly, he explained.
Some citizens are outraged, not only by the appearance of damaged cars on the roads, but also by the fact that they are now competing for parking with these cars.
Ioana Donose, a 23-year-old New Jersey native, has been living on the corner of 60th Street and Flushing Avenue for four years and she says the infiltration of “eye sores” has been a recent problem.
“I don’t understand why the totaled cars are on the road at all. They’re totaled; dump them in the junk yard. It almost makes me want to move back to Jersey,” she said.
Other members of the community are not as inconvenienced by the issue.
Courtney Buchhannon, an 18-year-old student, says she has seen a couple of damaged cars on the road for a few hours, but it has never hindered her from finding parking.
Michael Yurgel, a 28-year-old electrician, frequently drives on Flushing Avenue and believes “the cars aren’t enough to ruin the appearance of the town.”
Some citizens haven’t noticed the junked cars at all.
“I’ve never noticed banged up cars on the road, not that it would matter because parking is horrible [in Queens] anyway. What are a few more cars,” asked a local patron.
Abby Lootens, a Consumer Affairs spokesperson, admitted to having one complaint about the company improperly storing towed vehicles on city streets in 2010.
“If New Yorkers experience problems with any business licensed by DCA (Department of Consumer Affairs), we strongly encourage them to call 3-1-1 and file a complaint.”