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HomeNewsArchivesV.I. Answer Desk: When Are Abandoned Cars Going to Be Towed?

V.I. Answer Desk: When Are Abandoned Cars Going to Be Towed?

Source Reader Jayne Edwards asks "When are we going to get all these junk cars picked up and towed away? They are a sickening sight!!"
The junk and abandoned vehicle removal program is overseen by the three respective island administrators. In 2009, the program received $65,000, while in both 2010 and 2011, that sum increased to $200,000, according to the figures given in the 2011 budget proposal recently submitted by Gov. John deJongh Jr.
The Source caught up with St. Croix Administrator Dodson James for some background on the program and insight on why many cars remain. The short answer is vehicles are being removed at a faster pace than past years, but there are a lot of old cars out there, money is limited, and cars dumped on public roads take first priority.
"We come and take them as fast as we can, but unfortunately there has been a buildup of abandoned vehicles for a number of years," James said.
With lots of cars out there, they have to prioritize which cars they tow and dispose of first, he said.
"First, we are removing vehicles left on public roads and if people call and want a vehicle removed," he said. Before they can cut into the backlog of old abandoned vehicles in the brush, they have to keep up with removing new junk vehicles still being abandoned and burnt on the roads on a regular basis.
"If there was a community effort to stop abandoning cars in fields, stripping and burning them, we could take care of this much faster and easier, and we could have a much cleaner island," he said.
Nonetheless, moderately large numbers of cars are being pulled off the roads. Since the beginning of the administration they have removed 617 vehicles, many burned and unrecognizable, according to James.
"Under my watch, beginning in April 2009, we have removed 339 cars off the streets of St. Croix," he said.
When they remove a vehicle from the public roads, they first put a marker on the car giving 48 hours notice.
"You’d be surprised how often someone suddenly shows up to get the car at that point," he said.
Once the cars are hauled, they are brought to the V.I. Waste Management Authority, crushed, and periodically barged off island as scrap metal. There is only one crusher, which alternates between districts. Right now it is on St. Croix, which might account for some slowdown of car processing on St. Thomas until the crusher returns. However, no one contacted regarding this question would speculate as to whether that might be producing a slowing of car removal on St. Thomas.

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Source Reader Jayne Edwards asks "When are we going to get all these junk cars picked up and towed away? They are a sickening sight!!"
The junk and abandoned vehicle removal program is overseen by the three respective island administrators. In 2009, the program received $65,000, while in both 2010 and 2011, that sum increased to $200,000, according to the figures given in the 2011 budget proposal recently submitted by Gov. John deJongh Jr.
The Source caught up with St. Croix Administrator Dodson James for some background on the program and insight on why many cars remain. The short answer is vehicles are being removed at a faster pace than past years, but there are a lot of old cars out there, money is limited, and cars dumped on public roads take first priority.
"We come and take them as fast as we can, but unfortunately there has been a buildup of abandoned vehicles for a number of years," James said.
With lots of cars out there, they have to prioritize which cars they tow and dispose of first, he said.
"First, we are removing vehicles left on public roads and if people call and want a vehicle removed," he said. Before they can cut into the backlog of old abandoned vehicles in the brush, they have to keep up with removing new junk vehicles still being abandoned and burnt on the roads on a regular basis.
"If there was a community effort to stop abandoning cars in fields, stripping and burning them, we could take care of this much faster and easier, and we could have a much cleaner island," he said.
Nonetheless, moderately large numbers of cars are being pulled off the roads. Since the beginning of the administration they have removed 617 vehicles, many burned and unrecognizable, according to James.
"Under my watch, beginning in April 2009, we have removed 339 cars off the streets of St. Croix," he said.
When they remove a vehicle from the public roads, they first put a marker on the car giving 48 hours notice.
"You'd be surprised how often someone suddenly shows up to get the car at that point," he said.
Once the cars are hauled, they are brought to the V.I. Waste Management Authority, crushed, and periodically barged off island as scrap metal. There is only one crusher, which alternates between districts. Right now it is on St. Croix, which might account for some slowdown of car processing on St. Thomas until the crusher returns. However, no one contacted regarding this question would speculate as to whether that might be producing a slowing of car removal on St. Thomas.