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Trolley Hill Park vandalized, neighbor plans graffiti clean-up for Saturday morning

June 30th, 2011 by Thea

Queen Anne’s Trolley Hill Park was covered with red graffiti last week, and according to one neighbor, Vicki, so far nothing has been done to fix the extensive damage.

“Last week I noticed some red spray paint tags on real estate signs and parking signs near my apartment building (on Taylor Ave, right where it merges with 5th Ave.). Then when I was walking my dog in Trolley Hill Park I came across the saddest sight. Huge amounts of tagging on all the wood tables and benches, and down the entire length of a large tree’s trunk. Things like “Bloods” “Crip Killers” “KKK” and anarchy signs,” she wrote Queen Anne View. “Likely not really anything gang related, probably just some brats with some spray paint. Still SO sad.”

Trolley Hill Park is tucked away on the east side of the hill at 5th N and Blaine Street, and because of this it is more secluded and one of Queen Anne the neighborhood’s lesser known parks. The park includes a natural kids play area, a picnic area with tables and benches, a community P-Patch, and a beautiful view. It was named after one of the main trolley lines leading up Queen Anne Hill , which was in operation from 1890 to 1940.

In all cases of vandalism, officials recommend swift and and thorough action. When vandalism takes place on public property, as in this case, the City of Seattle takes on the responsibility of cleaning it up. Graffiti found on public property can be reported by calling the City of Seattle’s Hotline at (206) 684-7587, or filling out this online report form.

The graffiti at Trolley Hill Park was reported to the city’s response line this morning, and crews will be looking into the incident, though they were not able to provide a definite timeline for when the graffiti would be removed, though the city says that action will be taken in a timely manner.

For graffiti on private property, the city provides a number of resources to help residents respond. If you find vandalism on your property, the city recommends you document the vandalism for insurance purposes and call the Seattle Police Department’s non-emergency number (206) 625-5011 and file a report. If you witness an act of graffiti or vandalism in progress, it is recommended that you call 911, as vandals must be caught in the act to be prosecuted. For more information on what to do about vandalism in the community, check out the city’s resources here and here.

“Property with graffiti that has not been removed in a reasonable amount of time may be subject to fines under the Graffiti Nuisance Ordinance,” according to the Seattle Police Department website.

Though the city will be handling the incident at Trolley Hill Park, Vicki says she’s ready to take some action in the meantime.

“I’m going to head over to the park at 11 a.m. on Saturday to try and do some scrubbing, if anyone wants to help they are more than welcome to join me,” she wrote. “I go to this park every day and its just infuriating to look at.”

Even when city crews tackle public graffiti, they often ask for community volunteers to help them with the clean-up, so Vicki’s efforts are very much welcomed. Get more information on how to organize a Volunteer Graffiti Clean-Up Event here to keep a four-block area in your community graffiti free (Seattle Public Utilities provides the supplies and waiver forms needed for the event), or learn more about taking part in SPU’s Summer Paint Out program in July or August (again, SPU provides free paint  in white, brown or gray, and rollers, brushes, scrapers, and gloves).

Supplies can be picked up at the Seattle Public Utilities warehouse (3633 E Marginal Way S) on the following Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
-July 2
-July 16
-July 30
-August 6
-August 20

In order to receive the supplies, you must register first – use the link, email daniel.sims@seattle.gov or call 206-684-7790.

* Thanks to Vicki for the tip and pictures!

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