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DOT Cleans Up Grafitti


An editorial in the New York Post earlier this week accused the city of spending the money it should on removing graffiti on the Mayor’s Vision Zero Plan – that’s the one that would reduce traffic fatalities. Today, the Department of Transportation responded – by cleaning some graffiti.  Tyler Pratt reports from under the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown

((Sound: Trains, scraping and spraying)) – Russ Newton is scraping old flyers and paint off a support beam on the exit ramp on the Manhattan side of the bridge.


Scraping off, so the paint adheres better between the tape and paper and all that crap

PRATT 1: Newton works for the Department of Transportation. n his hard hat and orange vest, He says the overcast weather is making job a little harder


But it’s not the perfect weather right now, so we’ll see what happens.

ME: What’s the perfect weather?

*Laughs* dry and sunny but just as long as it doesn’t rain. It’s fine.

[fade up sound of power wash]

But a little further down under the bridge, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s rain. Other workers are using a power washer to blast the paint off the brick walls. By the time Polly Trottenberg – the head of the Department of Transportation showed up – they’d finished cleaning one side of the bridge.


We’re here to talk about the work our bridges division do cleaning graffiti around the city.

PRATT 2: at the busy intersection between the frequent B D N & Q trains overhead.  Trottenberg started off strong – defending her office’s ability to clean.


In the course of a year they will clean 4.5 million square feet of grafitti off bridges and other structures off the city.

PRATT 3: Trottenberg says the Manhattan Bridge cleaning was already planned, but she was out today to make it clear that her department is cleaning up graffiti – spending about a million a year to do so. A recent editorial in the New York Post claims the city is spending less to remove graffiti because the money is going to support the mayor’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic fatalities.



That isn’t true. the city’s graffiti efforts have been constant until this year. like i said the mayo has added as ai said almost 7 million dollars for new EDC cleaning crew.

PRATT 5: EDC being the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Trottenberg mentioned plenty of times that if people or business see graffiti, they can call 311 and file a request to have it removed. EDC’s website says they have a fleet of trucks and tools to clean business and streets. But trottenburg, acknowldeges that finding and cleaning up grafitti just as fast as it respawns isn’t an easy process.


look graffiti is obviously a big challenge in this enormous city, we are putting, the di blasio administration is putting millions of dollars of resources into tackling the problem every year. i’m sure there is always more that we could do. Graffiti is one of those things that you do your best to try and curb – it’s a fight for the long term.

PRATT: Take a walk through Chinatown and you’ll still see grafitti on every corner. But at least this afternoon the manhattan bridge underpass will be tag free. Meaning, by tonight it’ll probably ready for some more.

Tyler Pratt, Columbia Radio News.


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