Year In Review: Tacoma Graffiti

Most major cities struggle to combat graffiti, and Tacoma is no exception. To that end, City Hall made several efforts this year to curb such illegal activity.

In September, City officials announced a pilot program aimed to remove graffiti from private property within 72 hours. The program, which is currently being rolled out, calls for the City of Tacoma to hire a contractor to remove graffiti on private property located within so-called “key corridors” that include downtown Tacoma, bicycle and pedestrian routes, and areas with a high concentration of commercial properties, hotels, and multi-family properties, according to a presentation made by City staff to Tacoma City Councilmembers. The graffiti clean-up service would be provided free up to three times for private property owners who elect to participate in the one-year pilot program. If the same property is tagged more than once, City staff would work with property owners to take preventive measures in order to continue to receive free clean-up services.

A pilot project in Tacoma aims to remove graffiti from private property within 72 hours. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

A pilot project in Tacoma aims to remove graffiti from private property within 72 hours. (PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)

“It’s a great opportunity to take those highly visible corridors and give them some special attention,” said Tacoma City Manager T. C. Broadnax.

Earlier this month, City officials announced incidents of graffiti throughout Tacoma are on the rise: 471 reported incidents so far this year, compared to 280 reported incidents last year. City Hall and Tacoma Police Department officials encouraged property owners to move objects vandals can stand on away from walls; place motion-activated lights around properties to deter graffiti vandals; create barriers along walls using plants with thorns; and use a protective sealer or coating to protect brick or cement surfaces.

A contractor removes graffiti from the side of a building in downtown Tacoma. (FILE PHOTOS BY TODD MATTHEWS)

A contractor removes graffiti from the side of a building in downtown Tacoma. (FILE PHOTOS BY TODD MATTHEWS)

On a related note, the popular Graffiti Garage, a downtown haven for artists to legally spray paint their work, closed on Nov. 1. The owner of the privately-owned garage, located at 723-737 Broadway, decided to limit its use to that of a commercial parking garage, citing feedback from neighboring businesses and concerns regarding safety and liability, according to City officials.

The Graffiti Garage in downtown Tacoma. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)

The Graffiti Garage in downtown Tacoma. (PHOTO COURTESY CITY OF TACOMA)

To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of graffiti in Tacoma, click on the following links: