2009-09-04 / Top Stories

City Aims To Facilitate Graffiti Removal

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced new Council legislation that will facilitate the removal of graffiti, a continuing problem and a challenge to law enforcement along the Rockaway peninsula.

The new legislation, an amendment to the current "Graffiti Free" bill, further enables Graffiti Free NYC to remove graffiti from buildings.

Currently, in order for residential and commercial buildings to receive free graffiti removal services from Graffiti Free NYC, the building owner must submit a waiver giving permission and allowing the Graffiti Free NYC crew permission to clean the building.

With the Council's legislation, instead, a building owner will submit a form to the city only if she or he wishes to keep graffiti on the building or take it down her- or himself.

Once a building is identified for graffiti removal, the city will notify the building owner of the planned removal. The building owner will then have thirty-five days to opt out of the removal and submit a form to the city requesting the graffiti remain on the building or they will remove themselves.

Like many other community members, the owners of the building expressed great support for this legislation. The owners were previously unaware of the City's free graffiti removal program, and because removing the graffiti themselves would have been costly, they chose not to move forward with the project even though they did not want the graffiti on their building. Dozens of additional community members have pledged to help with tracking graffiti.

The Speaker's office will continue to work with these residents in ensuring clean streets and buildings throughout New York City.

"By working closely with local elected officials, community groups, businesses and homeowners, the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit and our partner agencies have been able to identify and remove graffiti from thousands of sites throughout the five boroughs," said Mayor's Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Nazli Parvizi. "This new legislation will help to ensure that the neighborhoods of New York City remain beautiful and vibrant."

Launched in 1999, Graffiti-Free NYC has cleaned graffiti from over 27,000 sites - 1,900 of these lie within the Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hells Kitchen area.

So far in 2009, 414 sites have been cleaned in this area.

Graffiti-Free NYC encourages everyone to submit requests by calling 311 or online at www.nyc.gov/graffitifreenyc.

The 100 and 101 Precinct captains often urge citizens to dial 911 if they witness an individual in the process of vandalizing property with graffiti.

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