Graffiti Cleanup Remains Costly Business In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Cleaning up graffiti continues to be a big challenge in San Francisco.

One example can be found at the abandoned 19th Street street car station in the city’s Dolores Park.

This week, city officials from San Francisco Recreation and Parks as well as the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency showed their supervisors pictures of walls blanketed with graffiti.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor:

Jay Gilchrist with the city’s Recreation and Parks Department said, that’s not the half of it.

“It really is truly a bit of a public health nightmare down there in terms of being a public latrine and all the other filth issues that, despite our best efforts, are ongoing,” he said.

Gilchrist said it’s also a shooting gallery for addicts as well as a homeless encampment.

City Supervisor Malia Cohen suggested installing security cameras as one way to begin to clean up the area.

“You know it’s just a waste of money to keep continuing to paint.”

The Recreation and Parks Department did offer a solution of sorts.

“Our main objective is to remove the Muni stop and to basically just turn it into a landscaped slope,” said Supervisor Gilchrist.

Half of San Francisco’s $50,000 annual graffiti cleanup budget for Dolores Park is spent at that one location.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Barbara Taylor
  • Zak

    I can assure you cameras will have no affect. Now, the City might have some understanding of what homeowners go through, yet we get the threat of fines of up to $5,000 if we don’t repaint within 10 days, while the City lets it sit for months: double standards at it’s best.

    As one who works in and around the criminal courts, I can assure, you the real issue is, the Judges (state judges) & DA’s office dismiss most 594(b) charges (vandelism) which this falls under; see it daily. We see the same taggers come in month after month, and most never pay the restitution set in court. So, here’s a novel idea, how about an 18 mo probation violation in the jail or SWAP program and spend the entire 18 mos, removing graffitti. After all, since it’s paying off the restitution & court fees, there’s very little cost to the City, except for providing a lunch & water

    • mechanic

      Zak has the right idea! ….. and if that doesn’t work, then I say lock em up for at least 5 years on a first offense…… and if that doesn’t work, I say shoot em all on sight! Enough is enough!

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