(COLORADO SPRINGS) — To crack down on abandoned vehicles across the city, Colorado Springs is launching a new initiative to bring a more permanent and solutions-oriented approach to finding a home for stranded cars.

If you see something, say something – that’s the approach Colorado Springs city leaders want community members to incorporate into neighborhoods.

Colorado Springs Neighborhood Services said a majority of the time, people don’t know abandoned cars are a problem in their neighborhood and even more don’t know it’s a violation of city ordinance.

“Vehicles parked for over 72 hours that don’t move have a pretty big impact on the quality and livability of neighborhoods in our community,” Mitch Hammes, Neighborhood Services Manager said.

The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) used to assume responsibility for vehicle enforcement around the city. To free up officer resources, duties have now been handed to Neighborhood Services and they have a different approach.

“Contacting people, educating them, having those conservations, trying to come up with effective solutions rather than just coming in, throwing a sticker on it, and then taking possession of a vehicle,” Hammes said.

When a complaint comes in, Neighborhood Services track down the vehicle, find out who the owner is, and then they simply have a conversation.

“Then we educate that person, we ask what the situation is, why isn’t the vehicle moving? And then we try to work out a solution with them,” Hammes explained. “If they’re out of town then we might give a little bit of an extension of time, if it’s a situation where people just don’t know then we try to find other solutions.”

Since March 2023, Neighborhood Services has received 973 reports for abandoned vehicles. Of those, more than 400 owners were contacted and only 10% were ticketed and had their car impounded.

Below is the most recent information from CSPD regarding towing and impound fees:

Community members can report abandoned vehicles in their neighborhood through the Go!COS App.

“Circumstances where we cannot track down a property owner or we don’t get cooperation, we do have the ability to write parking tickets or impound that vehicle,” Hammes said. “We do have the ability to write parking tickets or impound that vehicle, so there is a punitive element to what we do, but that’s not the first tool we use.”

It’s a solution-oriented approach to removing abandoned cars in Colorado Springs neighborhoods.

“When you see that green sticker on the vehicle or you see Neighborhood Services there trying to make contact, it’s not a bad thing,” Hammes explained. “We’re just trying to have a conversation.”