Though some residents of North Park call the City of San Diego's graffiti hotline or use its online graffiti report form, some complain that the city's response is slow. So, Graham Blair, a volunteer with the North Park Community Association, runs the Stop Graffiti Now! campaign. He sends a report weekly to the Urban Corps of San Diego County. (Urban Corps also has its own graffiti hotline:800-929-6884.)
Urban Corps, a certified conservation corps and charter high school, contracts with the City of San Diego for its graffiti-abatement services. A city staffer confirmed the contract amount is $480,000 a year. Urban Corps also has a $60,000 annual contract with the North Park Maintenance Assessment District, which covers the business district and certain residential areas of the neighborhood.
Besides graffiti removal, Urban Corps crew members haul large junk items, remove sanitation hazards, sweep sidewalks/gutters, empty recycling receptacles, and perform similar tasks. Spokesperson Klara Arter reported 8924 square feet of surface area were cleaned in North Park during the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Blair said that promptly removing graffiti “does eventually discourage taggers from repeating their work.” He said “several arrests” of taggers have been made, helped by photos of larger tags he's emailed to the San Diego Police Department.
According to the City of San Diego website, the city spends “more than $1 million each year on graffiti abatement education and enforcement.”
Pictured: Graffiti on sidewalk along Texas Street in North Park