At the corner of 65th Place and 53rd Drive in Maspeth, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer washed away recent graffiti marks scarring the wall of a small business on Friday, Sept. 21.
“We can not tolerate any criminal activity—even something that is seemingly small,” Van Bramer said, who was joined by local residents to kick off the third hear of his anti-graffiti initiative.
Van Bramer has allocated $30,000 in discretionary funding to the anti-graffiti initiative, which includes a complaint hotline where illegal-graffiti locations can be reported.
Along with the anti-graffiti initiative, Bramer said he is also doing community clean-ups, implementing pigeon mitigation systems at 7 train stations and additional street cleaning to help maintain clean and safe neighborhoods in the 26th district.
“We have what we believe is a fast-responding, state-of-the-art anti-graffiti program,” Van Bramer said, who added that CitySolve, an organization that helps clean up graffiti in urban areas, is helping with the cleanup.
Washing words away with a spray gun, Bruce Pienkny, the president of CitySolve, said an important part of keeping neighborhoods clean was responding to graffiti complaints early. With new problems in the area, Pienkny said every graffiti marking reported was erased within a two-week period.
“If you look at the graffiti problem, it leaves a message,” said Eileen Riley, the executive director of Maspeth Town Hall. “If you leave it up, it tells the community we don’t care, and everyone does.”
A constant hassle, Riley stressed that some graffiti markings were more than just an annoyance, with inappropriate drawings or comments.
“Let people know that we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to graffiti,” said Van Bramer, standing in front of a new, clean wall.
To register a complaint, call (718)-383-9566, ext. 3.