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Friday, May 25, 2007

Graffiti challenge — South Street garbage can

This one's what we call a stumper

Posted on Fri, May 25, 2007 at 1:23 PM

The city claims it wants to know about — and will quickly act to eradicate — any graffiti on public property. So on Monday, April 23 I sent this complaint through the snitching site: "The city's black plastic garbage can, fastened to a pole near the convenience store at 6070 South, has many tags on it and needs to be cleaned up." Driving by in the bus on Friday, April 27, the can looked like it was back to pristine condition, although a close inspection revealed someone had come along and covered the tags with black spraypaint. What the?

Either the graffiti community was regulating itself (as it's wont to do), or the city had moved quickly on this particular complaint. The city's site lets you check up on complaints, and when I checked into this one it gave me the line about "Your request is anticipated to be completed within the standard period of time for this type of service." That was May 1, a few days after my April 27 visit to the garbage can, which I took to mean the city was still working on it. But a check today tells me "Your request for service has been closed," so maybe the city was behind the spraypaint makeover after all.

If it was the city, that speedy response time deserves a gold star for effort. However, in terms of keeping all of the city's promises about graffiti removal, this case still rates a failure. The anti-graffiti site makes this claim about the municipality's cleanup crew:

While removing graffiti, they will remove any other graffiti, litter, posters, and stickers within a distance of at least 10 metres from the reported incident as well as 10 metres back from where a side street intersects. (Original page here)
In the photo you can see a sticker actually on the can, well within the 10-metre sterilization bubble the city threatens to plop onto graffiti sites. The sticker was there when I made the complaint, yet it survived the city's cleaning efforts. Umm, dudes, what gives?

(Here's some history of this situation.)

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