The Fight Vs. Graffiti Goes Small With Big Results
by Ed Wendell
Jul 18, 2012 | 1616 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association fired a new salvo in its ongoing war against graffiti this past weekend. Accompanied by Assemblyman Mike Miller, volunteers hit the streets of Woodhaven with cans of paint, turning a segment of Woodhaven from 44-percent tagged to 100-percent graffiti free. 

Recently, the WRBA had broken Woodhaven up into three zones and mapped out the location of each and every mailbox. Zone A is the easternmost section of Woodhaven, from the Richmond Hill border to Woodhaven Boulevard, from Atlantic Avenue to Park Lane South (including the Forest Park Co-ops).

Previous graffiti cleanups involved getting a large group of people together and walking the streets with cans of paint. It was slow, disorganized and, ultimately, not as productive as we would have liked. Part of the problem is that we had no way of quantifying how successful (or unsuccessful) we were. By mapping out each mailbox, and keeping track of whether or not it was tagged, we were able to see what we started with and where we ended up.

Also, by taking out a smaller team in a single car we were able to move quickly from mailbox to mailbox, using the map to eradicate vandalism and, in the end, walking away with the good feeling that for today, at least, a good chunk of our community was free of graffiti. 

This is our community and we take pride in it. And we are trying hard to ensure that it is as clean as possible. We have residents who are reporting graffiti on houses to the Department of Sanitation via 311 and they are getting cleaned. And our elected officials are standing by our side, walking the streets with us.

In addition to Assemblyman Miller joining us on Saturday, Councilman Eric Ulrich will be out with us this week cleaning and painting the red fireboxes in our community. Stepping up to fight graffiti does not mean you have to give up an entire day and it does not mean that you have to be a part of each and every cleanup mission. 

To accommodate everyone's schedules, our cleanup missions are a mixture of weekday afternoons and weekends. Each cleanup lasts around 90 minutes. We only need two or three volunteers for each mission. Here is the schedule: Tuesday, July 24 (6 p.m.), Saturday, August 4 (10 a.m.), Thursday, August 9 (6 p.m.), and Sunday, August 19 (10 a.m.). Step up! Help us!

If you are interested in taking part in this project, please contact the WRBA by leaving a message at (718) 296-3735 of at  

The Woodhaven Residents' Block Association will hold its next open Woodhaven Town Hall Meeting on Friday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 78-15 Jamaica Avenue.  Among our guests will be representatives from HeartShare Human Services discussing the plans for a facility at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and 88th Avenue.  

We will also be revealing a secret mission against noise that we took part in with Councilman Eric Ulrich and talking about how State Senator Joe Addabbo helped us get a grossly unfair sanitation ticket dismissed for one of our residents.  There's always lots going on at our town hall, we hope you'll come out and join us.

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