Mike Bloomberg and the GFNYC initiative has formed a fleet of about 23 vans to power wash graffiti all across New York City. They’re going hard in the paint buffing KATSU in this demonstration video from 2010, and you gotta imagine the van(dal) mobiles went out with a force recently to remove LEWY BTM from the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Whats a little more interesting, is Graffiti-Free NYC‘s protocol which states:
“Anyone can report graffiti on any property in New York City. Simply call 3-1-1 and The City will mail a Notice of Intent to Remove graffiti to the property’s address as well as the owner’s address if different from the property in question. Once the notice is delivered, the property owner/representative will have 35 days to contact The City to decline graffiti removal services or request an extension. If the property owner/representative takes no action within 35 days, we will remove the graffiti free of charge. If you are witnessing a graffiti crime in progress or existing graffiti you believe is a gang or hate sign, call 9-1-1 and you will be routed to NYPD’s Citywide Vandals Task Force.”
SMARTCREWUSA criticized GFNYC in the comments section for some ambiguity in their response to one of their Frequently Asked Questions:
“It appears that the city no longer follows their own graffiti law with this new policy. ‘If you want to keep the graffiti on your property and do not want it cleaned, you must also call 311 within 35 days.’ Is that considered ‘express permission’ to ‘paint a mark of any type’ on your property? It sounds more like implied logic than express permission. Bring back the old policy of having property owners give EXPRESS PERMISSION!”
Laws are open to interpretation. We’re not lawyers, but if GFNYC was so free with their thinking, then the discussion should be as open as the forum in YouTube’s comments section. Sort of a pass is given to murals just so long as it isn’t a blight on the hood. Who’s to say every collage of aerosol art lining the walls of The City aren’t murals, especially if no one dials 3-1-1. The expression, “speak now or forever hold your piece” seems to apply in this scenario, except these art pieces are being held in a memory bank. Is there no room for clarity? Something about seeing the image of Lady Liberty printed on the side of these vans looks like a contradiction. It just goes in line with their policy that the process is free of charge. Next, the streets will be painted with gold, and milk and honey will drip from the walls instead of paint. See if anyone complains about that.