City Balks at Residents' Attempts to Paint Over Graffiti

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    NEWSLETTERS

    flickr.com/N1OZ
    Photo by Jeremiah Garcia

    Everyone wants ugly graffiti out of their neighborhood, but there's some disagreement over exactly what's ugly and how to get rid of it.

    The city's official graffiti team is unable to move fast enough to cover all the vandalism that pops up around town. So some neighbors have taken matters into their own hands by picking up a bucket and paintbrush, according to the Ex.

    One such vigilante has been painting trash cans and park benches bright shades of blue and red. He pointed out that bright colors seem to deter vandals.

    But the city isn't pleased. The browns, beiges, and muddy greens that they typically use are supposed to blend into the background, not stand out. In a park, people are supposed to be looking at the trees, explained one Rec & Park official, not distracted by benches.

    And there are other problems: the bright colors are hard to match, making it hard to do touch-ups. Also, residents are not supposed to repaint city furniture without permission, no matter how much graffiti they're covering up.

    As a compromise, the Department of Public Works is teaming up with citizen-painters. In exchange for free training and supplies, the neighbors will paint over graffiti with the official approved colors.

    And the bright colors aren't completely off the table yet. If the neighborhood is able to come together and agree that they'd like to see some fancier colors on their public furniture, the city would try to accommodate their request.