Mayor Bloomberg and graffitti cleanup; Photo - Edward Reed

Mayor Bloomberg proudly announced that since last summer, the city, with the help with many community clean-up crews, have removed 16.3 million square feet of graffiti from 6,241 sites in the city:

“Since July of last year we have removed 16.3 million square feet of graffiti – which, if stretched out in a one square-foot strip, would reach from New York City to Yakutat Alaska. Graffiti is an invitation for criminal behavior and sends a message that we do not care about our City. I applaud the efforts of our City agencies and the community groups who have been fighting graffiti so aggressively. I ask them to remain diligent and to keep up the fight, and urge all New Yorkers to call 311 to report graffiti.”

The press release has more detailed information about how much was painted over, which city departments were involved, how many gallons of paint were used... And while removing graffiti can signal an improvement in quality of life, there are some beautiful examples and make the city seem more alive.

Gothamist on Style Wars, the 1983 documentary about the height of graffiti in NY.