Local News

Some drivers want faster graffiti clean-up

Posted June 8, 2010 11:15 p.m. EDT
Updated June 9, 2010 8:49 a.m. EDT

— Graffiti is often seen as a sign of a declining community and costs government agencies money to clean up.

Drivers with whom WRAL News spoke Tuesday said they have seen more graffiti in recent weeks, especially along Raleigh overpasses and interstates. Some want something done to clean it up more quickly.

“I thought it was extremely disrespectful to the whole community,” driver Beth Muro said of the graffiti.

Muro said she has seen graffiti along Interstate 440 near Lake Boone Trail, and she is not the only person who views it as an eyesore.

“I think graffiti anywhere sends a bad message that perhaps there is some level of neglect or concern,” City Manager Russell Allen said.

Allen said the city has two graffiti removal teams, but for displays on or around interstates, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for clean-up.

“We just want them (DOT) to be expeditious in getting it off,” Allen said.

DOT spokesman Steve Abbott said the department is looking into options for removing the graffiti, but cleaning it up takes money out of the maintenance budget. Abbott said graffiti removal is a priority but not as high as fixing potholes.

Driver Tyler Northrup agreed that that graffiti should take a backseat to other roadway concerns.

“Potholes are much more annoying that graffiti in my opinion, assuming the graffiti is not vulgar,” he said.

Muro said maybe residents need to organize clean-up efforts to help the DOT out.

“Maybe it's something more that the community needs to stand up and do something about,” she said.

Allen said some of the graffiti is likely from gang members. If you spot graffiti, call Raleigh police or the DOT.