Graffiti artists v. the mayor. Who is winning?

Artwork on a building at 1700 Eutaw Place and behind Walgreens on McMechen Street

The mayor’s 90-day all-out attack on potholes and graffiti, announced in April, has come and gone. Was it a success?

Potholes, like politicians, come and go with the seasons. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water under pavement. When water freezes, it expands. Then when ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps or voids in the surface under the pavement, where more water can get in and be trapped. Over time the pavement will weaken and crack. Pothole patching Baltimore-style, which is simply shoveling new asphalt into the pothole, temporarily improves the situation. Lately parts of Bolton Street seem to have benefited.

Similarly, graffiti is fixed most often by covering the offending “art” with a coat of paint, which in turn becomes a new canvass for another or the same “artist’s” work. Here’s our mayor hard at work erasing graffiti:

Mayor Scott and DPW staff covering graffiti

Alas, the graffitistas don’t agree with the mayor. Just look at the stretches between Eutaw Place and the I-83 on-ramp along North Avenue for what seems to be a permanent exhibition of their ugly work. And Palestinian partisans again have taken over the plinth on Mt. Royal Avenue’s west bank, where once a Confederate monument stood.

If you spot ugly or offensive vandalism posing as art on public property report it to 311, then take the service request number you will be given and share it and your complaint with your city council member. Then watch for DPW to come paint it clean. More information here on the Midtown Community Benefits District website as well.