Dear PoP – More Graffiti Problems

“Dear PoP,

Just a heads up on the Graffiti Removal Program under Fenty. When someone tagged buildings in the past, you just needed to call 311 and Fenty would have it removed within a day. This was great because when graffiti is not removed immediately, a “tag war” often occurs where a competing vandal then tags the building, and so on. As always, the Fenty administration was extremely responsive whenever we called. We have called three times in the last 2 weeks about the graffiti in our alley (and yes, a tag war has erupted by now) and were finally told today that “The Mayor’s Office no longer removes graffiti.” I’ll leave the editorializing about Gray to the commenters….”

In early Feb. I asked if DC’s graffiti problem had reached epidemic proportions? Unfortunately, I don’t think the question can be debated anymore. Unfortunately I hear some of these jackasses who are doing the tagging don’t even live in DC. Anyway, have others noted a more difficult process to have graffiti removed?

41 Comment

  • You can still request graffiti removal on the 311: Online Service Request Center (

    • Yes– you can “request” removal… but Gray’s team is no where near as diligent as Fenty’s. Like the OP, I never waited more than 2 days to have graffiti removed after reporting under Fenty. I’ve tried to report graffiti under Gray and my requests have been ignored. I finally painted over the graffiti myself after waiting over 2 weeks and putting in 4 requests (via 311 and actual calls). Just another example of the consequences of elections.

    • “call 311 there’s some tagging on the dance floor”

  • Taggers = people with small wieners.

  • Vince Gray is the human flux capacitor: taking DC back in time. Congrats, jerkoff.

    • You do know that Fenty spent most of our rainy day fund and handed Grey a massive deficit to make up, right? If you walk in the door with a budget gap of hundreds of millions waiting for you, and you can’t dip into the rainy day fund anymore or else your bond rating will collapse, which programs would you shut down?

      • one of the best ways to solve a budget deficit is to hire all of your family and friends to $100k jobs that they’re not qualified for.

        • Also to lodge the incoming director of employment services at the W for several months and provide her with a chauffeur because she’s too important to take the metro.

          oh and buy several $100,000 customized SUVs.

      • Crin – there’s no rationale for the blatant BS that Gray is pulling. Fenty may have been an ass, but he brought AMAZING things to this city

    • how specifically has he done this?

  • I called 311 to request the removal of a tag (and counter-tag) in an alley about 3 weeks ago. Took them 3 or 4 days, but the call prompted a response.

    Also, around the same time after a windy day I noticed a tree on Monroe was severely damaged and leaning over the road. Not something one would necessarily notice, but I parked next to it and couldn’t get out of my car because the trunk of the tree had shifted toward the road. I also noticed that the sidewalk was freshly broken where the roots gave way, so I called it in to 311. Didn’t have high hopes that the city would do anything since nothing looked amiss without close inspection. Tree was completely gone w/in 24 hours.

    311 under the new regime: so far, so good.

  • I still got graffiti moved last month using They have a category selection for it and responded within weeks, which seems like an acceptable amount of time. Any one person you talk to in the DC government (as with anywhere) can be an idiot. Better to check several sources when you’re trying to get something done before giving up hope.

    • WEEKS is acceptable? Seriously?

      With graffiti if it isn’t gone immediately it attracts other vandals.

      Most sad/horrifying example of this is the house in the 1800 block of 2nd Street NW that burned down two months ago – now it is completely covered with graffiti, which is such a terrible addition of insult to injury to the poor owner. Kills me that people would do this to someone who had their house burn down.

  • I love the video POP posted with the letter. But I voted for Fenty.

  • I thought the D.C. government would remove graffiti only if they determined it to be gang-related, and that for other graffiti, you were on your own. No?

  • Tballer is on the right track… the owner of the building has to sign a release… you can’t just call and report it somewhere and expect it to be removed…

    I also had promt action… within 2 days of faxing in the release.

    I still don’t like Gray though…

    • Any idea whether the owner has to sign a release for grafitti on the sidewalk in front of a house? My absent neighbors will never take care of this…

  • I was the OP. I will try the fax and hope the official who told me they aren’t doing that anymore was wrong. Thanks —

  • The city, in a timely manner, fixed a broken street light in my alley in response to my 311 request. Of course, Fenty would’ve made sure it never broke in the first place. (Just kidding, but not really.)

  • This is just Gray pandering to base. DC needs to feel more ‘Hood.

  • Bowser’s office staff have been extremely helpful with my efforts to remove tags in Petworth. Helps to send them email photos with location info too. 311 and the online service request works great too, but only for DC property like street signs, poles, bridges, etc.

  • On January 2, 2012 the people of DC are allowed to begin the process or recalling mayor Grey. According to section 1-204.112 of the DC Code, if 10% of the registered electors within 5 or more of the city’s wards sign a petition demanding his recall the DC Board of Elections and Ethics is required to hold an election within 114 days of receipt of the petition. In other words, by this time next year we could be just days away from seeing the end of Grey’s reign of terror!!

    • I’m pretty sure Wards 1-4 would be no problem. Not sure whether 5 or 6 would be easier to get the 10% signatures from, although my feeling is 6. I would just target 5 wards – keep resources focused.
      Ok, let’s get this started so that by New Years we’re ready to present the petition.

      • In general I think recalls are too expensive and divisive to be worth it…we will survive another year or so of Gray’s incompetence and pandering to people who don’t contribute to the tax base.

        • In general I think a few more years of Gray’s admin would be too expensive and divisive.

      • I’m in Ward 5, I did not vote for Gray, but Gray had pretty strong support in 5, but nothing like Wards 7 and 8.

  • I voted for Gray, but this city really is dirtier under him. I’ve reported graffitti weeks ago that still hasn’t been removed.

  • if i see graffiti and it is gang tagging i don’t call 311 but tell a police officer. they usually are very fast in letting the gang unit know about it and they respond.

    unlike gray i think police is aware that getting rid of gang tags is an easy way to reduce violence.

  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that the very large graffiti on the construction sign on top of the Shaw/Howard metro stop that I noticed on Monday was being cleaned off by workers on Wednesday. I would have thought they would have just left it, being a temporary sign, but good for them.

    I also lament that the Park Service can’t seem to keep up with the graffiti in Rock Creek Park, at least on Piney Branch and Beach Drive. Seems something new goes up once a week. The beautiful stone on Q St. bridge has been marked on both sides.

  • The graffiti on the wall of Bruce Monroe Park has been there for weeks. I’ve filed an online request on and I’m sure others have probably called it in.

    “SYCE” seems to have tagged just about any available space on Irving Street from 14th to Georgia Ave.

  • Mayor Fenty buried us with hundreds of millions in debt. His spending spree was irresponsible and unsustainable. We have a huge budget crisis. What do you expect?

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