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Bowser Administration Launches 8-Week Graffiti Removal Blitz

Thursday, May 24, 2018
District celebrates National Public Works Week with 3rd annual ‘Great Graffiti Wipeout’

(Washington, DC) The Bowser Administration kicked off the third annual Great Graffiti Wipeout today in Columbia Heights at 3020 14th Street, NW. The event marked the official start of an eight-week graffiti removal blitz throughout all eight city wards. During last year’s graffiti blitz, DC Department of Public Works (DPW) crews cleaned more than 600 graffiti markings and removed more than 3,000 posters and stickers from public spaces.

“The Great Graffiti Wipeout is one more tool the Bowser Administration uses to keep Washington, DC a great place to live, work, and do business,” said DPW Director Chris Shorter. “Throughout the week, we are celebrating National Public Works Week—both here in the District and throughout the country. Whether it’s removing graffiti or collecting our trash, the men and women who make up our public works department play an important role in all our lives. Throughout the year and during this week in particular, we salute them.”

The Great Graffiti Wipeout is part of the District’s celebration of National Public Works Week, recognized this year from May 20 through May 26. National Public Works Week is sponsored by the American Public Works Association (APWA).

Along with graffiti removal, Director Shorter stressed the importance of graffiti prevention and highlighted the success of the MuralsDC program. MuralsDC, a joint effort between DPW and the DC Commission on the Arts and the Humanities, is designed to provide permanent graffiti abatement to properties that have experienced or are at risk of graffiti vandalism. Since its pilot in 2007, MuralsDC has painted more than 70 murals throughout the District.

This year, at least six new murals will go up throughout Washington, DC, including one on the Unity Health Care building in Columbia Heights. Each mural is reflective of its surrounding community and helps document and celebrate the District’s rich culture and history. Commercial properties interested in donating a wall for a free mural should email [email protected] for more information.

This year’s Great Graffiti Wipeout will begin in Ward 1, and then make its way through all eight wards before wrapping up on July 20. The graffiti removal blitz is in addition to the more than 5,550 311 requests DPW receives each year to remove graffiti and posters.

DPW cleans graffiti from public and private property using paint or non-toxic solutions that are applied and then removed with a high-pressure water spray, known as a power wash. The power wash is not suitable for walls with loose or crumbling masonry. Residents should call 311 to request either of these services. A waiver of liability form will be provided, which must be signed by the property owner and returned to DPW before abatement will occur on private property.

2018 Great Graffiti Wipe Out Schedule

Week # Week Starting Ward
Weeks 1 & 2 May 24 Ward 1
Week 3 June 11 Ward 5
Week 4 June18 Ward 4
Week 5 June 25 Wards 2 & 3
Weeks 6 & 7 July 2, July 9 Wards 7 & 8
Week 8 July 16 Ward 6