SAN JOSE (KCBS) — The rise of graffiti has become an escalating battle for city of San Jose, but a new method of reporting has citizens effectively striking back at the blight. Non-city agencies have also stepped up efforts.

A new smartphone application called “San Jose Clean” has allowed its users to take photos of blight and send it to the city. San Jose Superintendent Mario Maciel, said that reported graffiti is usually removed with 24 hours.

“I’ve never seen such good community response as I have with those individuals that take the time to download the app and become true volunteers of the city,” he said. “No one has as many eyes and ears as the entire community as a whole.”

According to city officials, 93 percent of the app’s users reported the cleanup quality excellent and 92 percent rated response time excellent.

Maciel said there were some complaints; however, but those had to with areas that are outside the city’s jurisdiction. Complaints, he said, revolve around properties that are under the control of such entities like the VTA, Union Pacific and Caltrans.

“Quite obviously, there are blight issues and they are right in the middle of our thoroughfares on the way home and to work and you see it, but the reality of it is that inside city boundaries, were doing quite a great job with this issue,” Maciel said.

VTA, Caltrans and Union Pacific are coordinating clean-up efforts under their jurisdiction. The City Council is scheduled to get an update of their efforts on Tuesday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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