NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans today provided updates on the Graffiti Abatement Program launched on Aug. 30 to tackle graffiti vandalism on buildings, properties, and thoroughfares across the city. Since its launch, 37 vandalism graffiti removals have been completed on 35 properties, totaling 54,885 square feet of graffiti removed. Currently, there are 44 work orders pending for graffiti removals.
“Hearing directly from residents during our community budget meetings and through their survey responses, it is evident that the quality of life in our city is a top priority,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This graffiti abatement program is one of many ways we are promoting the cleanliness and beautification of our great city, along with our aggressive blight remediation actions and planting more trees on public green spaces in areas still bearing the impacts of Hurricane Katrina. It is true that environmental factors, such as litter, debris and vandalism, contribute both to a neighborhood’s safety and overall quality of life. These initiatives, paired with our focus on public health and safety, will lead to healthy and thriving communities throughout all New Orleans.”
Some program highlights include the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office wall along Perdido Street, the Interstate-10 underpass at Annette and North Roman Streets and the Canal Street Bridge. By targeting the most severe instances of defacement, the program’s purpose is to not only restore the visual appeal of neighborhoods but also actively combat criminal activity, break the cycle of disinvestment and foster an environment conducive to economic and community growth. The City recognizes the importance of public art and its ability to mitigate graffiti vandalism, and the program will be mindful of preserving murals or art installations.
“Since the program’s inception, we have made significant strides in beautifying our city, successfully removing over 50,000 square feet of graffiti from various locations,” said Chief Administrative Office Gilbert Montaño. “Focusing our efforts to address some of the worst, most noticeable vandalism will aid both residential communities as well as commerce in these neighborhoods.”
Safe Wash Solutions, a local property maintenance company with expertise in graffiti removal, was contracted by the City of New Orleans to provide abatement services. During the program’s inception, priority corridors, such as the St. Claude commercial strip, were identified for immediate public property removal efforts with continual monitoring. Moving forward, properties will be abated in response to 3-1-1 complaints and due to citywide sweeps conducted by the contractor. The City may also direct the contractor to specific locations prioritized by internal stakeholders when applicable.
Tips for preventing graffiti:
- Plant trees, shrubs or cacti to restrict access to tempting walls
- Use good lighting to deter vandals from popular graffiti sites
- Encourage community groups to adopt a wall or area to keep clean, well maintained and graffiti free
- Install public art or murals to dissuade vandalism
- Use dark or graffiti resistant paint coats on tempting walls or fences
The City’s website provides public-facing information about this initiative as well as prevention tactics. To report graffiti, residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 or submit a service request online at nola311.org.