Tucson, Arizona - Mario Figueroa is a man on a mission. This 62-year old spends his time cleaning up graffiti from his Tucson neighborhood. The City of Tucson spends approximately $750,000 abating graffiti.
Tucson Officer Stephanie Brown estimates that most of the taggers are 14 or 15 years old. Spray paint is readily available depite a Tucson city ordinance which prohibits spray paint to minors,
According to Tucson City Spokesman Michael Graham says, "When you're spending three-quarters of a million dollars to eradicate graffiti, I'd say we have a pretty big problem out there."
"That's money that, from the general fund, that could have been used to improve city parks, or other city infrastructure. instead, that's going for graffiti abatement."
More at News 4 Tucson
Salt Lake City- Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank spoke with Graffiti Removal Supervisor Brent Ahlander urged residents to stay vigilant in the fight against graffiti and report graffiti tags though a hotline and through a new smartphone app. The City has a full-time crew devoted to graffiti abatement and spends approximately $400,000 per year.
More at Salt Lake City Fox News 13
Ontario - Under the leadership of Trustee Dale Robinson, secondary students are helping to beautify Thorold Ontario. Since 2005, they have painted murals over 20,000 square feet of wall making it the largest mural in Canada. Based on the New York City's "Broken Windows Policy" abandoned and derilict buildings have been targeted for graffiti removal and murals.
“The murals were painted on two buildings that were previously covered in graffiti as a response to the graffiti,” she said. “Since we put the murals up, they’d never been tagged before until this winter and they’ve started to deteriorate in spots, so now it’s time to get back at it and take care of it by cleaning up the graffiti and repairing things.
“It’s the largest mural in Canada – it’s over 20,000 square feet – so we’ve got something to be proud of here.”
More at St. Catherine's Standard
Toledo, Ohio - The owner of a 50 year old flag business, located in an historic fire station, wants justice. She wants the teenager arrested for tagging her building and six others buildings in the commercial corridor, to pay retribution by scrubbing the spray painted graffiti off the 86 year old historicbrick facade.
Wendy Beallas, the owner of Flags Sales and Repairs, said if convicted, “I want him to be responsible and accountable for himself and clean it up,” she said. “This was very destructive. I want him to clean it, not just my building, but all the buildings.”
“I am very disappointed,” she said, “It is just unbelievable and senseless to me.”
More detail at the Toledo Blade
SAN JOSE, California – In 2011, a city-run graffiti removal program was outsourced to a private contractor. The move has been mostly praised by city leaders and community members.
As graffiti has been more quickly and effectively removed from the neighborhoods, the graffiti taggers have shifted their targets to freeways and rail bridges where reaction time from Caltrans and Union Pacific is slower. The result is that graffiti tags remain for extended period of time in high visibility locations.
Total number of graffiti tags remains constant at 3,600 but the incidents within the neighborhoods has decreased. City officials credit quick response times, triaging graffiti incidents, and matching over paint to background color.
City officials say that total square footage of graffiti is down by approximately 25% since the previous year.
City officials reported that 87 percent of reported graffiti is cleaned up within 24 hours and 96 percent within 48 hours.
A smartphone application allows residents to report graffiti and then is emailed a response once the tag has been removed, showing the before and after photos. High satisfaction rates are reported from residents who have used the system.
Link to Mercury News for more details.
From Clean City Innovation Graffiti Watch