So, on the corner of Centre and Williams (near Coolidge Corner) is this awful-looking relay box:
It has bugged me for a while. Clearly, there were two graffiti attacks and someone just painted over them with some awful black paint. (Yes, this is the same intersection as the bad elimination I cleaned up in May and wrote about.)
I am 100% behind people who want to fight graffiti, and covering it is a huge priority but….
- Relay boxes with smooth, tough enamel are the easiest of all surfaces to clean. Why not scrub it off?
- If you have to use black, can’t you come back with a better color?
Anyway, I looked at it and decided I would try to scrub it all off. Here was the process:
The black was very hard to remove. I used the classic alternating solvent-and-long-razor technique (spray with solvent, wait 30 seconds, scrape at the correct angle, wipe off, repeat). The first picture above shows that the original tag, done a long time ago was with very thick, hard to remove paint. The second tag was… a Phop tag? It isn’t that I am surprised he hit this mailbox, but that particular silver marker he uses could have been removed from this mailbox with Windex and a paper towel! :-(
I managed to get everything off, but this whole process to more than 20 minutes, which is a lifetime for me as I prefer to not be anywhere eliminating graffiti for more than 3 minutes.
The scraping on the top tag did some damage to the mailbox (due to the difficulty of a curved surface) and I, being a perfectionist, was unhappy about it.
But, from across the street, it actually looked OK, and certainly far better than it did before.
I looked around the intersection, and did other minor mitigation work on poles and backs of signs. Boy - this place was a mess! But I think it looks a lot better now. I met a very nice elderly woman named “Kit” who, like everyone else, was fascinated by what I was doing, and was very grateful.