Monday, March 14, 2011


I'm not reporting to SF311 new graffiti for  many reasons, but mostly because the failures to follow on old reports is creating capricious injustices to those who have cleaned the graffiti, and creates too heavy of a blow on the already difficult economics of graffiti reporting.

I've reported commercial graffiti on the same properties, and the response has been total ineffective.   I mean 100's of reports and reply that it will be cleaned in 3 days, that never happen.    So that corporate commercial graffiti a key problem that needs to be resolved before I find it worth spending time on other graffiti.       Otherwise, reporting graffiti is always something like bailing water from a leaking boat, but the gaping hole of commercial graffiti is not addressed,....

Economics of graffiti cleanup

the value created if graffiti was cleaned from the area would be larger.    in a large block, eg, 18th to 19th, Mission to Valencia, there would be about 80 properties.   Estimate a million each property.  80 million.  A permanent wide spread reduction in graffiti would raise property values by estimate 1%.   So the value for a single large block would be $800,000.

Does that sound like correct  the order of magnitude?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Economics on graffiti cleanup.

Market value of my time to get the graffiti cleaned, was gonna be much higher than my opportunity cost.

Market Value.   If I say 2500 tweets, at five minutes per. that is 12500 minutes.   12500/60= 208 hours.

First to do it tweets, ( count 1/3 of them) $400/hour to $600/hr=
Engineering system for efficient follow-up - (count 1/3 ) @ 50/hr to 80/hr  =
Anybody, or I could have hired at, +overhead @ 25/hr to $40/hr =
Total, about $50,000.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Application of economic theory to cleaning project

In economic theory, graffiti cleanup, is analyzed as an externality, an abnormality to the efficient production of goods and services by the market. What does externality mean?  Well, for most  products the person who buys them, gets all the benefit.  e.g.  If I buy pizza, me, not the neighbors, get the benefit of enjoying pizza.  And if the benefit of me eating pizza is more than the cost, bingo.  The famous invisible hand operates and the right amount of pizza and goods are produced.

But with a good with externalities, such as cleaning graffiti,  much of the  benefits go to the neighbors,  rather than solely to me.  And the rational economist concludes that I will care just about my cost  compared to my own benefit in cleaning graffiti, the market will not produce enough graffiti cleaning.  That is because the benefits the neighbors get is external to my own choice if it is worth it to spend the time to try to get the graffiti.

And, even if the neighbors come to want a neighborhood with less graffiti, they are likely to act as free riders.   They will come to count on me getting the graffiti cleaned, and being a free rider.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ambiental change on the streets. - What it would take for it to be persistent.

Yes, I've seen ambiental change on the streets after I began making these graffitweet reports.  It has taken somewhere over 2,000 reports, but those 2,000 report would not have been made without the conveience of cell phone camera reports through twitter and twicpic, or have been as effective without the traceable public record that creates accountability .

So major goal accomplished.   Horray.  It can work!!!  Citizen empowerment through new technology.   Its San Francisco and Egypt.

When I began with that goal, I don't think that I formulated, or articulated, that the change be persistent and sustainable.   I just wanted to see a change, and thought it was possible with the new technology.

I'm thinking about, and will blog later, on how to make the changes sustainable.  I invite a comment, and preview by bring up the need to get more people involved.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Can I take some of the credit??

My big picture goal that I announced, has been to create an ambiental change to my area of Mission Street.  I can declare some some success!!  The graffiti is down.   The sidewalks are cleaner.   More people are out walking on Mission District.

Time for soaking in some rays of success.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Many Cities Clean the graffiti on property for free after owner signs a release, SF should too.

I worry that the San Francisco practice of sending letters to the owners of building with graffiti, takes too much time, and has too many employees, is prone to manipulation, creates a level of unneeded governmental jobs, etc.   Other cities have recognized these problems, and also the sense that making the building owner pay, is making the victim of the crime pay,  ((Which seems doubly bad when the City does not keep its own properties clear of graffiti)...   I recommend that SF adopt a law that if the owner gets a graffiti letter, he can sign away an authorization/release of liability for the City to paint over the graffiti.   If the owner does not want to sign the letter, then, he gets some days to clean it before the fines start to kick in.