Woodlawn Residents Ask City to Clean Up Vehicle Blight

Residents say people are dumping their vehicles in their neighborhood

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Residents in a neighborhood on Chicago's South Side Chicago say they are fed up with abandoned and wrecked vehicles being dumped in their community.

First reported by Block Club Chicago, A.J. Walker has been documenting the problem over the last few years as cars and SUVs are left near his home at 65th Place and Blackstone Avenue in Woodlawn.

“Just walking within a block of the house in any different direction, I was able to snap ten pictures of abandoned, some destroyed, some just left cars,” said Walker. “It’s definitely increased in the last year or so.”

Walker pointed out one SUV that has been sitting in an open city lot for two years. Although some vehicles have tow notices on them, they have never been towed away.

 “I think when you give those types of impressions in the neighborhood, it can invite other things,” he said.

Ald. Jeanette Taylor said there’s been an uptick in stolen cars found in the Woodlawn community, which is why she’s been working with the Chicago Police Department and the Department of Streets and Sanitation to address the problem.

But this work doesn’t happen overnight.

“Depending on where the cars are, if they’re on a city lot, there’s a process where we have to put notices on the cars,” said Taylor. “There is a time period and then the city will come and tow it.”

Walker pointed out that the city has recently removed a few of the vehicles but it doesn’t take long before another vehicle replaces it.

“It does seem to be a bit disrespectful that people believe they can just waltz through a neighborhood and dump their garbage,” said Walker. “Whether their garbage happens to be an abandoned Land Rover or not.”

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