For the careful observer, there are three distinct types of graffiti – the good, the bad and the ugly, and Trenton has all of them. Over the past year, TrentonDaily has featured the truly beautiful artist-rendered compositions that sprung from artistic meet-ups in different parts of City. They were presented by various community-oriented sponsors like Trenton Health Team, Terracycle, BSB Gallery and the City itself. Some pieces still adorn the unused parking garage on Front Street and Broad Street. Below is a masterpiece (some 15 feet tall) by Leon Rainbow, the renowned Trenton graffiti artist, titled Beautiful Broad Street.
On the other hand, even a casual observer can see examples of bad and ugly graffiti in various locations around town. These are the unfortunate offerings of mischievous egotists who insist on splattering their personal feelings in unwanted places.
But the City is here to help with it’s incredible Graffiti Blasters road warrior. It’s made up of a work truck which carries an industrial power-washer with chemicals (if needed) and a large attached van that houses seven big paint tanks (seven colors) to spray the graffiti areas once they are cleaned.
The rig is maintained and staffed by members of the Department of Public Works, and the operation has been in existence for some 16 years, though not with the same equipment. The upgrade of the spray-painting machines and the van came on line maybe 7-8 years ago – a major enhancement compared to painting with brushes!
The Graffiti Blaster is deployed from April to October, generally 4 days each week. It’s crew is expert at detecting bad and ugly concoctions and routinely searches in areas such as underpasses and recreational areas’ parking lots. These areas often get “repeat business,” so the staff knows where to go looking, again and again.
Abandoned, city-owned properties also often require blasting and painting, so the crew rarely has a lack of needy eyesores. While the Graffiti Blaster is dedicated to improving public property, a privately-owned fence or wall with an egregious creation on it may be cleaned up if the owner asks nicely and the crew has time.
To report unwanted graffiti, just call the Public Works folks at (609) 989-3175. And it’s free!