It's a reliable harbinger of Spring: downtown has sprouted a new crop of graffiti.
Over the past few weeks I've been snapping photos of the recent graffiti tags on walls, signs and utility boxes. I've been meaning to send them over to Public Works for a clean-up punch list.
But yesterday, I was thrilled to see that some of the graffiti has already been removed! Billy Russo, the City's Director of Public Works, confirmed that his painting crew has been cleaning up on public property as the weather permits (call Public Works at (860) 344-3407 to report graffiti on public property, and don't forget to call the Police and ask them to do a report (860) 347-6941.)
Here's a before and after shot for you, from the corner of Washington & Pearl. The first photo is from February 12th; the second is from the 24th:
Wesleyan has been on top of the clean up too -- here's William Street from the same dates.
Last year I wrote several articles about graffiti, and I learned that there are lots of ways to remove the tags, especially if you act quickly. There's even a product that blocks graffiti. It's a clear barrier which can be used to cover walls that are frequent targets for vandals, so that graffiti can just be hosed off with water -- it's available at National Paint & Wallpaper on Washington St.
I wish that the folks who run Hamlin Court on College Street had been lucky enough to cover their wall before this happened:
So why is this news? Because cleaning graffiti up quickly is one of the best deterrents to repeat offenses. There may be an increase in the short term, but eventually the perpetrators will get caught, or will tire of having their work erased.
The worst thing we can do is just let it sit there. Here's hoping that quick clean-up is the new trend!