string 'em up
There was some rule I read somewhere that anytime you see a headline in the form of a question, the answer is always no. I can't find a link to it at the moment, but I think that applies here.
Adding one new position in PPB is "doubling the size of the police graffiti abatement team."

If that's what equals a "priority", then yes, graffiti abatement should be a "priority" for the city. I can only assume "non-priority" means doing nothing at all.
Assuming that this comment box also doubles as a blog-post-requester, I'd like to see a post on Blogtown titled "Is the Answer to Headline Questions Always No?"
NO, this is stupid and a waste, and it doesn't and WON'T do a damned bit of good!

I've gone threw many cans of [flat black] stray paint over the past few years either for art projects, furniture, my bedroom, etc. Most of my purchases have been done at SE Hawthorne Fred-Meyers, especially when i still lived in the Belmont/Hawthrone area. Each time i've had to flag down a clerk, point to the can of paint i wanted, have them pick it out, hand over my ID, they had to write down my info., i had to scribble down my signature, THEN they would hand me the paint.

This absurd process has resulted in NO decrease in tagging along my old neibourhood! If anything, i've noticed an increase. The Triple Nickel on Belmont in particular seems to get hit up every few days.
Let's face it, the trainyard would be a lot more boring without graffiti.

Although when someone graffiti'ed the "Deaf Children" sign to read "Deaf Children Hear"... I thought that one was trying to be too profound and failing miserably. It just makes me groan every time I see it. We can do better than that, guys!
Art is cool. The problem is that about 2% of taggers are "artists", and the rest a crummy amateurs or gang members.

I don't want to look at 98% junk, so that one true street artist can have a legal canvas. Especially, when he could just be using, you know, a canvas.
I think you are being charitable even with 2%.
If it was all Banksy, I could live with it....but it isn't even close.
But then you still have the problem of folks foisting their own views of 'art' on others.
Down by the traintracks is cool. The rest of it just cheapens the city.
forget about the graffiti... deal with the racism in portland....
These artists and small business owners sunk months of their time, thousands of dollars, and hearts into something. Mind you, with the intention to create a mural district, and paint over shitty tags as seen above. Whether or not street art is your thing, giving artists a place to work on projects, develop their craft, and doing something positive is what Portland is all about. Is it okay to only put birds on things?
If both "420PDX4vr" and "Trailblazed420" both stop tagging I'll be out of a job.

I had an interaction with one of the volunteers last week. They've been attempting to clean some of our newspaper boxes not understanding that they are private property. They have done a fair amount of good and I appreciate what they are trying to do, but in the same turn they and the regular abatement people have ruined the powder coating and plexiglass on our boxes.

The "war" on graffiti is a waste of money. They should put that money into fighting drug use or prostitution. Jokes. I have them.
Since we really have no other real crime in our city I think this is a genius priority. I'd like to see them find the dudes that did that weak PORTLAND mural on SE 39th and chop off their hands. Now that street violence (like gay bashing), car prowls and drug crimes no long plague our community, we should dedicate more re$ources to; graffiti, littering and people who fail to yield to mindless street crossing pedestrians not in the crosswalks. It makes for a more livable city...provided that you don't get shot when someone is breaking into you car while your are in a sketchy area trying to buy drugs.(That's always a bummer...)

I hate the crappy half assed scroll tags as much as the next person, but attacking a gallery, its show & artist is complete crap.
Criminalization without offering an alternative is a waste of time and money. Building skateparks as an alternative to outlawing street skating is a perfect example. It didnt stop street skating but it did give a legal option to those who wanted one.
Aggressive buffing only creates bad graffiti. Taggers will NEVER stop and abatement is only viewed as a battle cry. But those who want to do something nicer are deterred. Graffiti abatement has NEVER worked in any city in the world. Just ask SF, Chicago, and NY how it has worked out for them.
BTW, out of town visitors always ask me "Why isn't there graffiti here?". It is not because of the buffing but because compared to most other cities around the world we barely have graffiti here. Bend has more graffiti than Portland.
When cultural arts policies fail to provide artists and youth a legal and legitimate option for expressing themselves, you see all forms of vandalism. Whether you like it or not there will be graffiti. I absolutely think legal walls are essential, as well as increased urban style arts programming available to all for free. A proactive opportunity based solution would be a move forward instead of criminalizing those who are seeking to express themselves.
Ridiculous. There has to be some kind of discretion allowed here. My neighborhood store commissioned an artist to paint a huge mural on the side of the building over 15 years ago, and to this day no one has vandalized it whatsoever. Why would they? It is beautiful; more than I can say for the boring old train cars or warehouses we pay so much money to "clean up". I lived in Europe for awhile and the "Free Art" areas where you are allowed to paint are some of the most beautiful and interesting places of art. There is so much less "ugly" graffiti, and much more art, political statements, and people trying to connect on a certain level with other artists and the public. I think there is a difference between street art and graffiti, and I don't think Portland is too stupid to tell the difference, either.
interesting to see the city budget for removal.

my friend and i have been accused of painting a wall in the brooklyn neighborhood, one that was covered in said "crappy" tags that suggested gang activity and also were an eyesore. the police found us in the area when the wall in question had wet paint on it--it was basically a waterfall of various colors, nothing explicitly offensive or in promotion of violence, etc. there was a also a tree, a bird, a heart, and a mountain. i bring this up because the city is asking for restitution of over $8000. today i went to the area and saw that the "graffiti" had been painted over, not the entire wall, but just where images and colors had been. does this really cost the city $8000? and this is why i think its interesting that the budget is so high and also that they didnt need to wait for the restitution to remove the "graffiti".

on a side note, they do consider it a priority, it even said "PRIORITY" on the monitor in the cop car when i was sitting in it.
How is that flower any different then the roses that are painted all over the city?
Maybe we should put all this money towards art programs and murals. Since kids these days don't grow up working on or appreciating art and murals, you get shitty graffiti. These kids have no opportunities to gain skills and express themselves artistically so it makes since why the graffitti here is shitty. The more you crack down on gallery quality muralists the more shitty graffitti will exist. This abatement team is perpetuating the problem. ALSO, This all comes down to expression in public space. Corporations have the money to freely express themselves and the rest of us dont. This system in place is why the graffitti sucks. Fix the system. Support Art Education and Appreciation over Advertisements.
Yes, graffiti removal should be a priority. Graffiti writers start out seeking recognition, fame and visibility. Graffiti devalues property, and cost billions to clean-up accross the U.S. I wrote a book called "DEFACING AMERICA - The Rise of Graffiti Vandalism" to help the public better understand the popularity of this vandalism, and how to defeat it in your community. Learn more at
The fact of the matter is:
All good street and graffiti artists started off tagging and making a mess.
If the laws were less strict and people werent so quick to call the police, kids would have the time to put something nice on the walls instead of quickly scribbling everywhere.

For example ALL OF EUROPE.

Europe does not have felonies, they arent putting taggers in jail and in return they recieve the most beautiful street art ever. Berlin looks amazing, madrid colorfull. All done by kids with the same intentions as the youth in portland.

Only portland chooses to abuse the youth who risk everything for a small ammount of uncontrollable artistic expression.

Please wait...

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