When a resident of East 19th Street first began complaining to us – months ago – about the graffiti here, we shrugged it off. We figured, “This is New York City, there’s always going to be graffiti. You just gotta report it and remove it, like everyone else does.”
When the resident continued to complain, saying the vandals were targeting homes, we thought it was weird and worth checking out. But we got caught up in other things and never went to take photos.
To that resident, we’re sorry. Very, very sorry. You’ve sent us these photos and shocked us. Then we went to take a walk of our own and saw even more graffiti, including on residential property. We dropped the ball on this one.
But we’re not the only ones. I’ve seen the way the the police handle your complaints at meetings. They have the same reaction we initially had. But it’s obvious that East 19th Street between Avenue X and Avenue W has a higher level of graffiti and vandalism than surrounding blocks. It could be because it’s not particularly well lit, and the United States Post Office sorting facility, the auto repair shop, and the apartment building prove to be appealing canvases.
Whatever the case, police officers ought to be making more frequent night patrols down the block and local leaders should work with the business owners to install security lights. This is preventable.