FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 28, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
City goes on a graffi ti removal blitz in western Queens
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
Th e fi rst day of spring meant a major
spring cleaning effort in Corona,
Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.
Offi cers from two police precincts,
the city’s Economic Development
Corporation and City Councilman
Francisco Moya teamed up on March
20 for a graffi ti removal blitz through
the three neighborhoods. Crews repainted
or power-washed dozens of locations
scarred with spray-painted tags that had
become community eyesores.
For Moya, the cleanup wasn’t just about
beautifying the area — it was also a reclamation
“Our Graffi ti Cleanup Day is an eff ort
to return these neighborhoods to the
residents and workers who make them
unique and special communities they
are,” Moya said. “Whether it’s gang-related
graffi ti or general vandalism, the people
who live and work in these neighborhoods
deserve better than to have to pass
scrawls on buildings and storefronts on
their way to and from work and school.”
Th e cleanup, which occurred within
Moya’s 21st Council District, began
at 11 a.m. on March 20, with members
of the 110th and 115th Precincts
and four vehicles provided by the EDC’s
Graffi ti-Free NYC program deployed to
graffi ti-marred locations. Th ese included
City Councilman Francisco Moya helps repaint a graffi ti-marred roll-down gate in Jackson Heights on March 20.
homes, garages, businesses and Long
Island Rail Road overpasses.
Th ey worked quickly, too. One team
used an airbrush to paint over tags on
this two-car garage in less than three
minutes. Moya himself also got into the
act, repainting a rolldown gate with an
Graffi ti-Free NYC was launched in
1999 as part of an ongoing eff ort to eradicate
vandalism throughout the fi ve boroughs.
Cleaning and repainting services
are provided free of charge to property
“We are proud to celebrate 20 years of
improving the quality of life for our residents
and beautifying the city through
our Graffi ti-Free NYC program,” EDC
President and CEO James Patchett said.
“We look forward to furthering our work
through partnerships like this, and with
social service organizations and local
businesses to enhance the fi ve boroughs.”
A Graffi ti-Free NYC crew on 44th
Avenue and 104th Street on March 20.
While some view graffi ti as street art,
others see it as symptomatic of more serious
problems in a community. Street
gangs have been known to tag locations
to mark their turf; a renewed emphasis
Photo courtesy of City Councilman Francisco Moya
to remove gang-related graffi ti occurred
last month aft er an MS-13 gang member
fatally shot a rival at the 90th Street-
Elmhurst Avenue station on the 7 line in
City Councilman Francisco Moya
and offi cers from the 110th and 115th
Precincts, and a representative of Graffi ti-
Graffi ti vandalism is a crime in New
York City; the city off ers a $500 reward
for individuals who provide information
that leads to the arrest of a graffi ti vandal.
Call 311 to provide a tip; callers may
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