Graffiti Abatement

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Graffiti Abatement Eradicating harmful underground networks seems to be the latest trend. The epitome of this movement is the military action in Afghanistan and the anti-terrorism attitude throughout the world. Contributing is a new war breeding deep within anti-graffiti organizations and city beautification bureaus around the world. The front line is everywhere, making an efficient method of removing graffiti priceless to cities throughout the world. However, this new battleground presents a problem: what method works the best? The cities of New York and Philadelphia have established two different means of removing graffiti. The Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network (PAGN) was formed in January of 1984 by Mayor W. Wilson Goode, and combines four anti-graffiti programs: Graffiti Abatement Teams, Paint Voucher Program, Mural Arts Program, and Urban Artscape. (City of Philadelphia) The mayor of New York City, Mayor Giuliani, initiated the Mayor's Anti-Graffiti Task Force in July of 1995. The merits of both programs can be compared using the differences in cost, equipment, and employees each program uses.

One important issue is how much each program costs. Through the Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network, the city of Philadelphia has grown to invest as much as three million dollars a year on graffiti removal. This cost rose 100% between 1998 and 1999, proving that PAGN's budget will rise inevitably. Similarly, New York spends an average three million dollars on graffiti removal. However, adding to this cost is the sophisticated graffiti-removal vehicle developed by the New York City Department of Sanitation. The City of New York approximates the vehicle cost at $90,000, as well as the initial $44,692 invested during the development stages. Overall, the cost of removing graffiti provides a level comparison of the two cities. Although both cities spend three million dollars annually, New York's budget increases with the state of the art equipment used. Al-though both budgets are surprisingly similar, New York's anti-graffiti technology adds to the city's expenses: Philadelphia's program costs less.

Another basis of comparison is the difference in graffiti-removal technology. Presently, Philadelphia's graffiti removal program uses Hydro Pressure Systems when dealing with graffiti. Hydro Pressure Systems is the largest state licensed pressure-washing contractor in the United States, and has been operating for over 20 years. Its high-pressure system heats water to a maximum of 210 degrees, while discharging the water at five gallons/minute under 3000 psi of pressure. (Graffiti Control) Conversely, New York's graffiti-removal program has designed a mobile, graffiti removal unit. Mayor Guiliani's Anti-Graffiti Task force states this unit is built from a 1997 Ford Van model E super duty vehicle, and has the ability to clean and custom paint any surface to its original color. In addition, the unit also features a 5Kw generator, a 1,500-psi pressure washer, brushes and more that results in an arsenal of anti-graffiti equipment. (City of New York) The last feature on the vehicle is undoubtedly the most sophisticated: a portable spectrophotometer that uses a sensory system to detect color pigments and, in turn, formulate the exact color of the surface. This is used to place finishing touches on the surface, returning it to the original color. In short, despite high technology being used at either city, the remarkable features aboard New York's vehicle outweighs the Hydro Pressure Systems used by Philadelphia.

The difference in employees is another important issue worthy of comparison. Philadelphia's Anti-Graffiti Network allows both volunteers and trained professionals to join their war on graffiti. In addition, apprehended offenders joining the PAGN work force create countless cleanup crews available across the city. Conversely, New York's employee diversity is, undoubtedly, a strong quality. Graffiti battlers can range from professionals, volunteers, community service organizations, and youth. The majority of the workers, however, are employed by the Department of Sanitation and are trained to operate special equipment dealing with graffiti removal. Also, organizations that present a viable removal project are provided with up to 36 gallons of paint and more by the city to help overcome the project's cost. As a result, New York's war on graffiti encourages people of all types to join in, surrounding graffitists everywhere.

In conclusion, both Philadelphia and New York have established worthy graffiti removal programs. The issues of technology, cost, and workers are legitimate criteria for comparison. Although Philadelphia's Anti-Graffiti Network is cost efficient, uses sophisticated equipment, and employs a productive work force, the powerful New York task force overshadowed its results. Consequently, through state of the art equipment, an equitable budget, and an outstanding work force, Mayor Giuliani's Anti-Graffiti Task Force overwhelms New York graffiti.

Works Cited City of New York. "Mayor Guiliani's Anti-Graffiti Task Force." 29 June 2000. Online.

20 November 2001. City of Philadelphia. "Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network." 10 October 2001. Online.

20 November 2001. Graffiti Control. "Pressure Washing, Concrete, Marble, Limestone, Brick, Stucco, Tile, Vandalism!" January 2001. Online. 20 November 2001.

"Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network." 1991. Online. 20 November 2001.

Spencer, Timothy. "Philadelphia Anti-Graffiti Network. May 1998. Online.

16 November 2001. Zener, Praez, and Chris Caruso. "The War on Graffiti is a War on The New Class: An Analysis of the Strategy and Tactics of the War on Graffiti in Philadelphia." October 1998. Online. 16 November 2001.