After a year, derelict car finally removed


A car covered in dust. Wheels caked up nearly half their height in dirt. A parking ticket tucked between the front seats. A baby seat placed in the back.

After several calls over the course of a year to 311, an abandoned red Toyota Corolla that sat on Valles Avenue and Post Road on West 254th Street for more than a year has finally been moved.

Joan Adler, who lives across the street from the derelict car, said she heard noises outside on Friday prompting her to check a window.

“I looked outside and it was gone,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. It’s gone.”

Adler called the abandoned vehicle a health hazard. She was concerned the Corolla would become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and vermin.

Another resident, Frances Zamcheck, said she looked out her downstairs window early Friday evening and found the car gone as well. After a year of complaints, Zamcheck can’t explain why the car was finally removed now, but feels it could be any combination of work by the police, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, or even The Riverdale Press, which started investigating the neighborhood eyesore last week.

“I was thrilled and surprised,” she said. “My first thought that perhaps all of our agitation had succeeded in someone finally taking action. It is actually a great mystery, but we are very happy that it is gone.”

Adler said she first reported the car parked along the eastbound side of the road and toward the middle of the street last September. She called 311, a number to report non-emergency matters that falls under the city’s responsibility, three times, and each time nothing came of it and the car still remained on the street. Zamcheck also tried the 311 route, especially since the abandoned Toyota partially blocked her driveway.

“The fact that it (was) always there makes it difficult to get in and out, especially when there are other cars coming,” she said. Valles Avenue and Post Road have two-way traffic despite how narrow it is. The abandoned car, Zamcheck said, only added to that problem.

Det. Mindy Ramos from the 50th precinct said the department received two calls about the derelict vehicle, both of which came from 311. They were advised of the Toyota last September, but officers investigated a wrong address and found no car matching that description. The precinct received a second call in April, with a corrected address, and the car was removed on May 5.

The city’s website said it’s up to local police to tow derelict cars. Owners are then tracked down, and would have to pay towing and storage fees before they can retrieve their car.

Jeff Johnson, who also lives in the vicinity, said he saw police officers checking out the abandoned car sometime last week. They “scrutinized it, and that’s all I can tell you,” he said.

With no results from 311, Adler said she contacted Dinowitz’s office early last week. A Dinowitz spokesman said he contacted the 50th precinct and that the car was removed last Friday. Adler also reached out to The Press, and one day after the newspaper started asking about the car, it was removed.

Yet the derelict Toyota wasn’t alone, neighbors said. Another car on the road is stuck with a “boot” on the wheel, because of unpaid parking tickets totaling more than $350, listed the city’s website. There’s also a van some suspect is someone’s home.

That, Zamcheck said, is creating an unflattering atmosphere in a location with beautiful homes.

“People are seeing this street as a place where people can keep cars for an insurmountable length of time and the cars won’t be touched,” she said.

However, the removal of the Toyota could send a new message.

It “is a signal that someone is paying attention to our little street,” Zamcheck said, “hopefully in a positive way.”


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All cars have vin numbers, so why didn't the NYC police run the number find the listed owner and have them pay for the towing? They have the Assemblyman DINGBAT mentality as it seems to be rubbing off on the police

Norm Zamcheck is a very smart fellow and he should have just told the 50 PCT to look for the vin number as the 50 needs to be told how to locate the owner of abandoned vehicles .

The 50 does not have the brightest offices on the force so they have to be told about vin numbers and accountability...

Friday, May 12

Having dealt with a similar situation within the last year or so, I know that police first inspect the car, and then, as required by law, they verify that the car has not moved from that spot for at least seven consecutive days. Police contact the vehicle's owner, if possible, requesting that the car be moved. The owner moves or tows the car, or the police do.

Tuesday, May 16

One of the main things that attracted me to Valles ave. was the privacy. Me & my family have lived on Valles ave & have parked along W. 254th st. for the past 6 years, and boy has it changed.

The article failed to mention the WHITE BMW Jeep that was parked closer to Post Ave. for over a year with MOLD growing all over the seats as well as the steering wheel. I even dared to walk by it on one occasion to make sure a corpse just didn't happen to be hanging out in the back seat.

The growing litter along the 254th st. wooded area is disturbing, to say the least. On multiple occasions I have witnessed non-residents, get off or on the bus with me, walk to or from their, clean out the garbage by the driver's seat and drive off.

I love my area and wish I had the strings to pull to consider this area a Resident only parking area which required permits. I love to believe that everyone that lives in the immediate surroundings has the same mentality as I do " I DONT SHIT WHERE I EAT"

The trailer home that is parked closer to Post ave. Does indeed house a person. I've seen him creep in and out I HAVE EVEN SEEN HIM SHOWER IN BETWEEN THE DOORS ON THE WOODED SIDE!!!! I know who he is and he has parked there on a previous stretch of time a few years back, leaving even a mattress and stroller behind. I will be contacting his place of employment if he so as dares to do so again.

Monday, May 22