The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Can't Stand Graffiti!

We've been in a lot of different cities this year and one of the things we notice is graffiti. In fact, we even notice it when there's a lack of it! We really noticed it in the city of Pittsburgh. Why? Because there isn't any!

The city of London, England has a huge graffiti problem. Strangely enough, there is a graffiti problem in Reykjavik, Iceland. For some reason, we didn't think they would have a problem with graffiti there. Much of Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary have graffiti problems.

It's a huge problem in Mexican cities. When we visited Guadalajara a few years ago I was so turned off by the graffiti everywhere that I didn't enjoy our visit to the city. I don't make it a habit to take pictures of graffiti, but I do have this one from our recent visit to Zacatecas.

This wall is covered with unsightly graffiti.

Our friend's house in Zacatecas has one wall directly on the sidewalk of a side street. She has painted that wall four times and has finally just given up because the little ingrates who do this type of vandalism just see it as a blank canvas every time she paints it. 

Our home city of Ottawa, Canada has a growing graffiti problem despite the fact that they have instituted a "Graffiti Management Program" a few years back. Their plan involved "education" and "empowerment". But unfortunately these things don't seem to work. 

But let's get back to Pittsburgh.

The actual lack of graffiti was what we noticed! It turns out that in 2005 a former Mayor, Bob O'Connor, had started a clean up campaign that the people took seriously. Citizens were simply tired of the graffiti and  vandalism and litter. Around the same time, the Clean Pittsburgh Commission was begun.

They take graffiti seriously in Pittsburgh! They treat it like the crime that it is! That's how they got rid of it!

Look at what they do...

If you see a person committing the crime, you call 911. If you even SEE graffiti on your own personal property, you call 911. If you see it on someone else's property, you call 311. Then, it gets transferred to the city's Graffiti Busters office. Then, the Graffiti Task Force will be notified immediately and Department of Public Works will respond and take photos of the graffiti and remove it. Just like that!

And, if they catch the little bastards in the act, they are arrested and charged with vandalism. If they are under 18 years old, the parents are fined, and charged the clean up costs!

And so, Pittsburgh is proof that graffiti can be eradicated if the people are actually serious about getting that job done. It comes at the expense of a lot of effort and money, but the city of Pittsburgh is a much, much more beautiful place as a result.

Pittsburgh, PA.






15 comments:

  1. Believe it or not New York City once had such a bad problem with graffiti, on subway cars, that they all looked like they had been repainted. Now they have a program going and all the cars are stainless steel and clean again. just takes stiff enforcement. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.....

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    1. They may have improved the graffiti problem on the subway cars but they still have a problem with graffiti, at least from the last time I was there, about 3 years ago. Hopefully it is slowly improving!

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  2. It can be controlled like anything but its takes, time, effort and enforcement.

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    1. Unfortunately there isn't enough enforcement and without that, it just won't stop.

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  3. For some reason I used to think it was just a problem in the US. When we traveled across Europe several years ago, I was surprised and saddened to see graffiti across Europe. So sad. All cities should learn a lesson from Pittsburgh.

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  4. Well, we have it here in Vienna, and it really urks me too.
    It was never something that we tolerated in the school system. We had a guy that we could call, and he had some cleaner that was awesome. This was his own company, but he almost exclusively worked for our board. Some sort of environmentally friendly soap that he sprayed on (looked like green slime) and then he'd come back a few minutes later with a pressure washer with HOT water, and all signs of graffiti would be gone. I could call him at 7:00 a.m., and it would be all cleaned up before school opened. I'm sure that really bugged the hell out of whoever put it on our walls too, but it was a "zero tolerance" kind of deal.
    The community officer from the regional police would also get involved, track down the little buggers and charge them with a number of things, not the least of which was trespassing.
    Seems some graffiti "artists" have a distinct style?
    Even though it says "Public School", it's actually private property.

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    1. Sounds like a good system to us, now if only everyone could react as quickly to it, maybe it would start to disappear.

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  5. I've yet to visit anyplace where I haven't see graffiti ... even in pristine natural environments, although those they deem "historic" ... don't care ... it's still unsightly.

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  6. I so agree - it's disgusting and it's everywhere.

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  7. I just returned from San Miguel de Allende and there is no graffiti at least in Centro where we were.
    Where I live in California we can call a hotline and a removal truck comes out to clean or repaint the walls everyday.

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    1. Well at least the centro is clear of it there but I bet there is graffiti past that area. I hope they are able to keep it graffiti free in the centro as that is normally where the tourists are.

      I like the hotline idea!

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  8. Graffiti even "adorns" impressive rock faces of the Canadian Shield along the Trans-Canada Hwy. Some has been painted over, but it's an unsightly problem and should be regarded for what it is--a disgrace.

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    1. Yep! Unfortunately even when the graffiti is painted over on the rocks, they are still unsightly because of the paint used to cover up the graffiti.

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