Posted tagged ‘graffiti’

Taking Graffiti Removal to the Streets — Every Effort Helps

September 8, 2015
Removing tagging on a little can at Princeton and Warder.

Removing tagging on a little can at Princeton and Warder.

On August 19th I posted about efforts the community was taking to remove graffiti along Lower Georgia Avenue. At that time I also reported that I’d been informed that there’s been a significant rise in graffiti across the city — which is why graffiti abatement requests seem to take longer to be acted upon this year (when they are closed).

At that time I also vowed to do my part in removing graffiti in the neighborhood, so that the neighborhood is cleaner, faster and so that when a 311 request is submitted that it is for the graffiti that is beyond the ability of residents who have engaged to fight for a cleaner community.

During the Labor Day weekend, I took a walk down Warder Street and up Georgia Avenue to remove graffiti. I’m sure I didn’t get it all, but I made a dent and will be back out next weekend to look for the areas I’ve missed. I’m hopeful that with as much focus on graffiti abatement that is currently going on we can remove it faster than it occurs.

graffiti(Commissioner Boese removing graffiti at Georgia Avenue and Otis Place, NW)

Fighting Graffiti on Georgia Avenue

August 19, 2015

Last Saturday, members of the community met at Torrie’s Restaurant to learn about graffiti removal and fan out along Georgia Avenue to remove area tagging. This effort was an outcome of the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street Feasibility Study, and the focus area covers the area between Kansas Ave and Upshur St to the North all the way down to Florida Ave to the South.

Moving forward, supplies and a power washer will be available to community members to remove graffiti (details forthcoming). In speaking with Lauren Adkins from the Department of Small and Local Business Development, I’ve learned that graffiti is up across the city this year. This is one of the reasons that reports to 311 are taking longer to address than they were in 2014.

Community beautification and graffiti removal days are nothing new. I remember a similar event that addressed tagging and other issues around the Park View Rec Center that was held in March 2010. At that event, I learned about a graffiti removal solvent called Sensitive Surface Graffiti Remover.

I’ve decided its time to be more proactive. I’ll be restocking my supply of graffiti remover and removing what I can myself. If we all did this and only reported graffiti issues to 311 that we really can’t address ourselves, it would go a long way to keeping the tagging down on the community.

Below is a collection of photos from Saturday’s event courtesy of Jon Stover & Associates.

Graffiti 2015

Community Graffiti Removal Event This Saturday at 10am

August 12, 2015

A graffiti removal event is being held this Saturday for residents who want to pitch in to help to remove graffiti from Georgia Avenue. The announcement is below (PDF version here).

Lower Georgia Ave Community Graffiti Removal Event
What: Come clean up Georgia Avenue! (Between Kansas Ave and Florida Ave)
When: Saturday, August 15, from 10:00am to 1:00pm
Where: Meet at Torrie’s Restaurant at 700 V St NW for Supplies and Training 
Why: Georgia Ave is Littered with Graffiti and You Can Help Make a Difference
The Problem: Graffiti on Lower Georgia Avenue  
Graffiti is a major problem for business owners along Lower Georgia Avenue. If not removed, graffiti can cause blight, increase criminal activity in the surrounding neighborhoods, reduce property values, and give the impression that Georgia Avenue is not a clean and safe environment for residents and visitors. As part of the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street Feasibility Study, a community graffiti removal project is being organized by local stakeholder groups and city agencies. We will cover the area between Kansas Ave and Upshur St to the North all the way down to Florida Ave to the South.
The Solution: Let’s Empower Neighborhood Volunteers to Fight the Graffiti Ourselves    
A community graffiti removal event will be hosted on Saturday, August 15th (at 10am at Torrie’s Restaurant). Here, community volunteers will learn the appropriate way to remove graffiti and then spread out along Georgia Avenue and address problem areas on previously-identified sites. The community is developing a list of partner businesses and property owners that have given the community the right to address graffiti on their properties. The graffiti removal event on August 15th will help address many of the most problematic graffiti currently on Georgia Ave. However, this is not the end. Volunteers will be able to use donated equipment and continue to address graffiti whenever they see fit for properties in which permission has been obtained. This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference.  
Please join us on August 15th and help clean up Lower Georgia Ave.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Checking Out the Graffiti in the Alley at 1018 Irving

June 22, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve checked out the graffiti in the alley bounded by Irving, Sherman, 11th, and Columbia Road. People may recall that back in 2012 there was a proposal to convert this former auto garage into a mixed commercial/residential space. However, alley lots are difficult and don’t really conform to zoning … and in this case they weren’t able to get the zoning relief they needed.

In any event, below are some photos of the current graffiti that is on the building. You can see photos of some of the graffiti that was there in 2010 here.





The Wrong Way to “Get Rid” of Graffiti

July 24, 2012

I was a little dismayed to see that recent graffiti at our CVS was “removed” by painting over it (as you can see to the right). This is especially painful since DC will remove this for anyone that signs a graffiti removal waiver. I was also at a bit of a loss that the regional manager for the store at 3642 Georgia I’ve worked with in the past was no longer employed at CVS.

After digging around a bit, I finally found and made contact with the new regional manager … and am happy to report that they agreed with me that the red paint on the New Hampshire Avenue side of the building is unsightly and not the preferred manner to address graffiti. Based on the phone call I had with CVS yesterday, within the next couple of days (fingers crossed) the red blotch on the CVS will be removed.

Of course, now would also be a good time to circle back and see if I can get the bike racks outside the store reset so that they are useful.


Does The City’s 311 Service Actually Work? Short Answer — Sometimes

September 12, 2011

Currently, dc311 is operating at a 31% success rate for graffiti removal requests

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get really fed up with the dc311 service that is supposed to make the lives of District residents easier, not harder. In theory, any resident is supposed to be able to call 311 or go to the City’s online version in order to report the need for city services — everything from graffiti removal to tree trimming, trash collection, and rat abatement.

While I used to call 311, I’ve recently started to use the online service. I thought this would be easier and faster but it seems the only thing that is easier is my ability to track District dysfunction.

My recent case in point was a series of graffiti removal requests I reported on August 28, 2011. All in all I reported 13 street lights with tagging that needed to be removed (or based on the City’s response, painted over). The graffiti was on Georgia Avenue, Park Place, Warder Street, and New Hampshire Avenue. Three days later, I received emails for all 13 requests stating that the service requests were resolved. If this were true, it would be great. But hold on … I’ve learned not to trust these emails based on earlier experiences.

With print outs of all resolved emails in hand, I visited all 13 locations on September 10th to confirm that the work has been completed. I’m sorry to report that only 4 of the 13 graffiti removal requests had actually been accomplished (or 31%). This is abysmal. It is either reflective of pure laziness on the part of the City, or outright fraud. What this does is completely skew the City’s metrics when it comes to analyzing how well they are doing. What this does is make the District statistics look like work crews are doing a bang up job! According to the 311 system, the city was able to handle 13 graffiti requests in three days … but they didn’t.

What is even crazier is that some of the graffiti that was removed was only steps from the next request. So, a City employee and vehicle were at the site — with paint — and addressed one problem while ignoring the other requests that were right there in front of them. Having to send someone out again unnecessarily costs the City money it either doesn’t have or that is needed elsewhere.

As for me, I have once again reported the missed requests and cited the original tracking number. Let’s see if they can do this correctly this time.


When Can Graffiti/Tagging Make You Proud of Your Community?

June 13, 2011

Products for removing graffiti -- click on image to go to the Website

Generally, there is nothing about graffiti/tagging that a community can be proud about, or so I thought. Yet this weekend I had an experience with tagging that made me appreciate my community all the more.

Saturday night there was a small rash of tagging that hit the Rock Creek Market’s dumpster, Washington Post delivery box, and a few street light posts on Warder Street. Nothing to big and nothing I couldn’t take care of myself … which is what I decided to do.

It was while I was removing the tagging on the dumpster that I brimmed with pride in my community. Not once, but twice, I was challenged by passersby who wanted to know if I thought I was “beautifying the neighborhood with graffiti.” In both cases the residents chose to get involved because they initially thought I was defacing public property and wanted to stop me. When they saw that it was actually the opposite I got a pleasant thank you before they moved on.

The experience really got my week of to a great start.


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