Familiar SJ Graffiti Along 101 to be Removed

A very familiar piece of graffiti along Highway 101 in San Jose will finally be removed

By Damian Trujillo
|  Saturday, May 11, 2013  |  Updated 2:55 PM PDT
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Thousands of people are exposed to it every day.

It’s the graffiti on the 13th Street train bridge over U.S. Highway 101 in San Jose.

“Pretty big of an eyesore,” said Aaron Tachibana, who rides his motorcycle on Highway 101. “I think people should be able to do something else besides paint graffiti around.”

The bridge is property of Union Pacific Railroad.

Part of it sits on state land.

The city spent the last year trying to get everyone together to clean up the bridge.

Something can be done,” said San Joe Councilman, Sam Liccardo. “It just requires somebody sitting at the table because otherwise we’ll get a lot of blaming or finger pointing without anyone taking responsibility.”

The tagged bridge is visible fro the backyard Jim Davis’ motorcycle repair shop on Commercial Street.

“You know there’s a ledge,” said Davis about a one foot ledge than spans the base of the bridge above the highway.

“You can walk out on that ledge. You gotta be crazy. You won’t watch me out there, that’s for sure.”

After a year of negotiations, crews will begin painting over the graffiti on Monday. They’ll have to shut down parts Highway 101 overnight to do the job.

“We’ll see how long it lasts. They’ll find a way to tag it again,” said Davis. “Within a couple of days is my guess,” said Tachibana.

“But at least for a couple of days we’ll have a clean bridge again.” Even councilman Licccardo isn’t sure. “Inevitably, someone who is stupid enough or perhaps creative enough will cut the wire, get around the fence. They’ll find a way to get to the bridge again.”

Two weeks ago, Cal Trans added re-enforced fencing around the train bridge to make it tougher for taggers.

Davis said it seems to be working. Crews will next work on the Bird Avenue train bridge over Highway 280 near downtown.

That bridge has a huge tag that reads “RIP TOMMY.”

Crews will also go after the 680, 101 overpass.

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