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.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I've purposefully been going slow, and lowering my expectations.

I was putting effort into this project, and feeling a corresponding disappointment when things did not happen.   So I purposefully slowed down my reports, and efforts.

I'm thinking of going in a new direction on making reports.   Instead of using @SF311 use d SF311, and only use @ for longer term follow-ups.  

But I've got so see if I would have the same followup capabilities.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Yesterday, I sent in followup requests about graffiti and illegal signage that had been there for months.   SF311  replied  in all caps that the property owner have thirty days to clean graffiti.  2+2 =

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some updates, 777 Valencia, 195 Lexington

777 Valencia looks like it is going to be nice.   This was an empty building for at least a year, and of course it got badly covered with graffiti, but they are doing a nice job renovating in, and I hear that it is going to be some type of New Orleans Preservation Hall West site, with a restaurant.    This morning they were painting over the graffiti that has long marred the side of the building.

195 Lexington, still is not very cooperative.   Only after that building had the same graffiti from May to October, and was reported by me  with photographic evidence of having the same graffiti and not being cleaned, did the owners do a part way job of cleaning the graffiti.   They painted the side of the building but left the graffiti on the windows.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Hicups along the way

I believing in this cell phone camera technology, link to twitter can change the urban environment.     I say thinking that there are bound to be some hicups.  Me gripping now about a difficulty is just an stumble that has to happen in a new project.

I reported this graffiti over a month ago, and today sent in a 30daytimeis up message.   SF311 replied

It is too hard to provide SF311 with the SR.   Sometimes, I can look them up, it takes time.   And it would seems that the SF311 would have better access to look up the Service Request.    

Alternate idea is when SF311 sends a tweet back about a service request, that it also include the address in the same tweet.   Then a search by either the address or the SR would give one immediate answer.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Op Ed. addopt a program of city cleans the graffiti after owner gives permission / release liablity

After becoming a graffitweeter, I found out that several Cities have gone to a model that seems to get the graffiti cleaned off buildings much quicker, and have much lower overhead administrative costs, than the system of fine the property owner, e.g. New York, Denver, Chula Vista.

In San Francisco, the system is that complaint driven.   And after, someone like me, makes a complaint about graffiti on a building, the City is supposed to in  48 hours inspect, post a notice, send a letter to the owner, give the owner 30.   Reinspect.

A bunch of times, I'm finding out the City does not send out the notice.   A bunch of times, the City closed the request with the graffiti still in place.   And there are a bunch of times when five months after the report no graffiti has been cleaned.    Likely after a few months of graffiti being on a building, the pro-graffiti taggers think that they "own" that space, and new graffiti will be tagged within a week of the cleanup.

So the likely result is even with someone making reports, graffiti is going to be on the building for 90 percent of the time.   And there are a lot of overhead costs of inspection.  hearings, aggravation when the City closes reports without taking action.

Also, there is a definite aspect of making the victim of graffiti pay for the crime, while the City is partly to blame because it has not been good about trying to stop graffiti itself.

That's reasons why I would support the type of program they have in Denver and New York where if the owner chooses to sign the City a permission / release of liability form, the City will paint out the graffiti.

(This is a quick note, I'd write it more carefully if I thought many peeps would read it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yah, I've said it before, but some others helping would would be great.

You know, things have improved..   But its not yet up to a 50 percent improvement.   Best way is to find others who will also report graffiti.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ambient Change

spell check does not like ambiental, but I do.
I'm trying for an ambiental change in the Mission Cityscape.

How will I know when that will happen?   I think I'll know, and I'm seeing progress, but I'm going to ahead of time make a objective marker.   To be able for two days in a row walk around the block bordered by  18th,  19th,  Valencia and Mission Sts and not see graffiti.   Something about grimy sidewalks too.

I'm not limiting my reports to that single block, and don't plan to stop if I achieve it, but there you go.
Anyone want to guess how long it will take, and home many reports??

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Open Government reporting with new technology can change the relationship between citizens and the government.

I'm trying to work off some of the backlog of overdue reports, and flag them to SF311 one, or at most two a day.   Too often, they have provide me with a new service number.   Then I suspect that the original SR was closed.   Do a time consuming search, and find out, that yest the original service request was closed.

I'm believing that this pattern of closing service request without ascertaining if the graffiti has been removed has been happening for years.  (one of my evidence is I made reports before and they were not acted up, but I did not keep the service record, and even less, I did not keep photographs that are undeniable before and after pictures.)  And it keeps happening to me.

I believe the unit of DPW that deals with this private property graffiti is not used to someone having dated photographic proof of the prior condition.   They thought with impunity they could close cases, because it is easier to do that.   And if someone complained, they would be complicity with the taggers, and claim that after it was erased it happened again.

But now the level of dated photographic prove, is 100 times easier, and 20 time less expensive.

The are going to have to get the idea that if they close a case that has been reported photographically, someone, ESPECIALLY if it me, is going to call them on it.   And if this blog and twitter is not a visible enough, there will be an #ogov solution.

Walked the stretch of Mission St between 18th and 19th, this morning. and ..

I Walked the stretch of Mission St between 18th and 19th, this morning.  and ..of the four buildings that DPW cleaned yesterday, only one looked like it had been tagged with graffiti this am.  eg 2293, and even there the graffiti was not so prominent.     I reported the newsracks at 19th and Mission NW.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Technology issue.

There is lots of graffiti in my neighborhood.   And although I don't report all of it, I have been making lots of reports.   I don't want to overload SF311 with the reports.  Sometimes they tweet back, that I already reported a graffiti.   I might feel bad, but not so much bad because it is hard to keep track of the reports

For reason, there are different time period.   48 hours for the typical street furniture. 3 days for parking meters.  Two days plus ten days for newsracks.   20 business days for signs.  30 days for buildings.  Supposedly 3 days for corporate graffiti, but that has never once happened.

Point is I'm going to sometimes report graffiti a second time before the clock has run.    And also importantly, I am deferring to report graffiti because I don't know if it is already on the clock.

Well my tracking solution is having problems.   My goto tracking solution has been the web site.      But something is going wrong, and searches are not including all the reports.

So, today, there is some bad graffiti on the newsracks at 19th and Mission.   I'm paying close attention to that corner.  18th to 19th on Mission is my adopted space, and first step towards a better six block stretch of Mission.   But the search engine is missing results when I search user, and newsrack.

Wow, getting frustrated, having a voice crack, but at least four buildings painted.

Thank you, Thank you, thank you DPW/

Well, as my posts suggest, I was getting frustrated by the lack of progress on many Mission Street buildings. four to five months.  It  carried over into my twitter reports as well, and I wondered was I losing some cool on this.    My tone sometimes had frustration ..

Whatever, it worked, or there was a coincidental timed reaction. Because at least four buildings were painted over their graffiti this morning.

The big one was 2298 Mission Street.    That building had graffiti that was signed from 2008.   Is in a promient location.  And was real ugly.

Also, nearly on the corner was 2293 Mission Street,

and 2270 /2272 Mission St also got cleaned this morning.  Some but not all of 2225 Mission St., was closed.

And even a building between 19th and 20th was cleaned.  I don't know the exact number.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What if pointing out that a report is 3 to 4 months overdue does nothing.

Recently, I have been resubmitting with links to the original, service requests for buildings that are four and five months old.    My thinking is an ambiental change won't happen where there are several large three year old tags in the same vista.   I also thought that undeniable photographic links that report is months overdue, would be a cause for something to happen.

I'm starting to increasingly doubt, that even sending to SF311 four and five months old reports on graffiti blighted buildings is going to have any effect.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Followup, Followup, Followup.

I've got some good news, and some bad news.
What do you want first.
The good news.

The good news is:

  • DPW is doing a good job in cleaning the graffiti located on public items.  Real good job.  Thanks DPW.   It makes a difference in how people on the street feel.  Safer, Prouder, 
  • Things have gotten much better at both Rec and Park facilities.  Not only graffiti I report is getting cleaned, but unreported graffiti is getting cleaned.  And most importantly, RPD painters are now buying into the view that if graffiti is timely cleaned, less new graffiti will come up.  (so their work is easier), and before it seemed to be the opposite- he said, since they are just going to re-tag this tomorrow, don't waste time painting it today.
  • SF311 works great.   Thanks SF311.   Thanks twitter.  Thanks technology opportunity,  #opengov #gov20
  • Post Office, response is good too as is other entities like Fire, Street signs, etc. 
The bad news is :
  • Graffiti on private building is still a disaster, and the DPW process is not working..
  • Commercial graffiti, as in llegal sign-age is not only a disaster, but is a disgrace.  Not a single reported building has been cleaned in four months.   

New follow up technique, in that sometime SF311 wants the original SR#.

Add the SR into the comments field of twitpic, it creates a new tweet, and when search will connect the address with the SR#

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Follow up

I'm getting better at following up old reports that were not abated.   I think this could be a major breakthrough, it can "turn the corner."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

haha, Strategery

So, you may have noticed, I am trying to rethink my strategery.

I've come to think that my initial graffiti plans, trusted too much that graffitweet to SF311 about building graffiti  would be timely followed up upon, and  in my excitement over this new technology, I made reports that covered more than a single block.  Then I was disappointed when too little happened.    It should have worked, . . .

Maybe, I threw a too wide of a geographical net on my reports, and diluted their impact.  Instead, I am now thinking the strategy of a beach head, toe hold,   (Think the current TV commercial about harlem children's nonprofit where bricks represent each block.)    For September and October, I'm going to concentrate on a single one block area, 18th to 19th, Valencia to Mission, (and yes, Lexington and San Carlos are important, but they are inside of my one adopted block.).

. . . If the beach head is achieved, from there I will "march" to 16th and 24th Street BART stations like Stanford told me would be necessary.

Dolores Park is still very much in my heart for improvement, but I am wary of being a force against graffiti there and being connected with the pro - motocop forces.   So, I'm lowering my attention on Dolores Park.    Sad that the politics is getting in the way....  


Okay, today is an update post.

SF311 state that all the MUNI signs and poles in Dolores Park are to be cleaned by Muni.   The Rec and Park painter does not want to clean the MUNI stuff in Dolores Park.   Gonna have to repeatedly send these requests in.

Someone from Denver who is doing much the same thing as me, is starting to follow me on twitter.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm going to concentrate on the buildings that are never cleaned.

I've got about 10 to 12 buildings in the immediate area that are months overdue for cleaning.   They are going to be my main concern.   I will continue to make some other reports when it is convenient to do so, but in terms of where my effort will go, I am going to concentrate on the long overdue buildings, and will be selective in adding new buildings.    If I have a second priority, it will be newsracks.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The cityscape is not going to change without cleaning the many prominent graffiti that has been on building for years. So that is where my attention should be,and for report location of 3 to 4 'months I'm being told to wait before reporting them again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

195 Lexington to get an Art murel.

SF311 sent me a note today that the owners of 195 Lexington have done everything possible and are going to get a city mural on their building. But today their building was posted with a notice that DPW had found graffiti on their building and that they had 30 days to clean the graffiti or respond. Its hard to understand that notice going up today because the graffiti is from May with more on top.

Friday, August 20, 2010

DPW Letters going out for 18th Street Buildings.

On 2 or 3  buildings on 18th Street between Valencia and Mission that I don't think I reported, DPW today put up signs of graffiti notice.  Saying DPW has found graffiti, you have 30 days. etc.

These were not on buildings that I see as the problem buildings.   Maybe somebody else reported those buildings rather than me. 

Got to go.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Think: timeframe to get to first cleaning is 6 months, second cleaning is 1 year.

I'm going to think in longer time periods.   For example, how should I approach things if the first cleaning is on average 4-6 months, and the second cleaning is 9-12 months.

I kinda hope no one is reading this blog, because it is more of a personal notebook that happens to be public, than a blog.    But if you do read, and have an idea to help, send me a comment.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How to deal with too many overdue and closed without reason building reports

I'm trying to figure out how to deal with too many overdue by month reports on buildings, and the tendency of the DPW building department to close out cases with statements that the graffiti has been abated.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More thought on how frequently I should report again buildings not cleaned long after a report.

This is a second part of a posting asking myself, and anyone who wants to comment, how frequently should I report again buildings not cleaned long after a report was made?

Other factors, is how frequently, I would be wanting to check the overdue reports, and resubmit them. 

Two or three times a week sounds like a first estimate.

How large is my "inventory" of late responses?
How would that "inventory" break down in >90 days, >60 days.   >45 days?
How many is too many to report to SF311 per day?   3,4, or 5?

Part of the answer will come by doing,  then adjust.   Try to use humor or good in post.   Use same wordage, for ease of search.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How often should buildings / newsracks that are not cleaned be reported again.

This project of trying to achieve an ambivalent change in the Cityscape of Dolores Park over to Capp Street by using social media is now 100 days old.

A major issue now is how to deal with the cases that were reported months ago, and are not being cleaned.

What is the right frequency of followup for buildings not cleaned.

What form should the followup take?

Does once a week follow-up on reports three month old sound right?

MissionReporter has done some great posts. Thanks.

MissionReporter has been doing some great reports to SF311 about  graffiti in the nearly the same area as me.   Yes!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DPW again closes graffiti reports without work being abated.

It is happening too frequently, that DPW closes graffiti reports without abatement.  This time for 2250 Mission Street.

UPDATE.   After I posted this and followed up with DPW, the building at 2250 Mission Street was cleaned of graffiti.   

Still no call backs from DPW's Vieng

Called again to repeat last Friday morning's call, at about 830 this morning.  Again voice machine.   No call back yet.  its about noon now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

No Call back yet from Jonathan Vieng

On Friday morning, I called Jonathan Viegn about the issue of city reports describing that the graffiti at 2345 Mission STreet was abated, but it was not.  I got his voice mail.   No call back yet.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How about a spreadsheet of overdue buildings/ reports ?

How about a spreadsheet of overdue buildings/ reports ?

The top ten  list was feeling tired and boring.   The new spreadsheet is going to be my overdue accounts sheet.

Like those bill statements that show accounts overdue my more than

  • 30 days,
  • 60 days,
  • 90 days, and 
  • 120 days.
If anyone reads, give me some feedback.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

False reports of graffiti being cleaned in DPW notes.

This would be a serious problem, after taking the time to volunteer and report graffiti, someone at DPW turns around and falsely writes notes in reports that the graffiti has been abated.  That is what I found to have happened with conveniently numbered address of 2345 Mission Street.

Here is the May 4, 2010 picture of 2345 Mission Street after it was re-reported because the graffiti had not been cleaned.

Yesterday, I reported 2345 Mission Street again for graffiti blight,

@SF311 Building #graffiti #SF #blight ! 2345 mission St reported May 2010 still

and SF311 responded that

@DPClean several reports have been sent to DPW regarding this building. according to notes graffiti is abated only to be hit again. ^BM

I asked for the DPW supervisor's name and telephone.   Thankfully, SF311 provided it.  Jonathan Vieng at 415-695-2181. 

So, I immediately called Mr. Vieng, but only got a voicemail,  If I get a call back, I will try to update this blog.   

Take a look for yourself and compare the May 4 picture of graffiti on 2345 Mission Street, and three month later August 6th,picture of graffiti. Its the same graffiti. It was not cleaned. On the lefthand side, the vandal added color to his graffiti, but it is the same.

In the three month that this address has been reported, not only is someone at DPW failing to work to remove graffiti, but they are helping to keep the blight in place bu falsely writing in department notes that the graffiti has been abated.

If on the long standing graffiti locations like 2345 Mission Street, the inspectors falsely write in reports that the graffiti has been repeated abated only to be tagged again, than there is a serious problem.

To make matters worse, 2345 Mission St under major renovations with workmen there nearly every day. They've got the ladders and  personnel to easily fix the graffiti, but instead have taken the route of getting DPW reports to falsely state the graffiti has been abated.   Something really stinks here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Response to the Mission Mission Article. DPW on privte residence

Last blog posting, I linked to a commentary on Mission Mission blog, about DPW painting over graffiti on a private residence. The posting asked, how could that be happening, if DPW does not "advertise" that service on its website.

Here is my take. Two ways.

One, DPW does the work, and the property owner pays the bill. This happens after the owner is noticed of the graffiti, and has a chance to respond at a hearing. If the owner does not show up to the hearing, or doesn't give a good excuse, then the City will bill the owner. And it sounds like it could be an expensive bill. Still, it sounds like the owner has more protection against being billed than happens for parking tickets.

Two, Alternatively, the owner shows up, and explains what has happened, and maybe, just maybe if it is fair, the City will there after remove the graffiti on its dime. The notices that I have seen posted imply that if the owner is an 80 year old women on limited income, the City will agree to clean the graffiti for her. Another option, is that the owner shows that the location is one that is hit by graffiti at an excessive rate, and that the owner has cleaned the graffiti a bunch of times already. If the owner shows that he has tried to keep the property free of graffiti, and essentially it more the City's fault for letting the graffiti situation get out of hand and the building is repeatedly graffitied, than again the City will pay for the clean up.

For those who might object to the City paying for cleaning graffiti on private property, on my twitter account, I linked an article that says that New York City will paint over graffiti on private property for free.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Interesting commentary on MissionMission

click link

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tweeking my approach.

Over August, I am going to be doing less "prowling" as it was called by the local paper. My goal is going to be working on the long term graffiti sites on Mission Street between 18th and 20th, and the increasing problem of commercial graffiti.

Secondly, I have to look to bring others into the project.

Anyone want to help me report graffiti??
This has been previously reported and has been issued a work order to complete. Service Number 684112. ^JT 2351 Mission Street, second floor.

Monday, August 2, 2010

@DPClean SR 696955, The City's goal is to post a Notice and send letter instructing owner to abate within 30 days.^MH
Your Service Request number is: 705579. ^JT
Back of Giant Value

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Need to be a general

Changing the look and feel of graffitied, neglected urban space is a major task not easily accomplished. I want to make an ambiental change in the area by 18th/ Mission St but a battle fatigue is nearly inevitable. I wonder if cleaning up Mission St. a crusuade that can not be won? Perhaps it is an endevor that needs a wise general more than foot soldier. I ve got to collect forces use opportunities and think ahead.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Better to d SF311 or @SF311

If your reading this, you know that I have been making graffitweets to @SF311, that is on the public timeline. It is also possible to make the reports to SF311 with the d SF311 syntax, that way the reporter's twitter account is not on the public time-line.

I came across some evidence that someone else is making direct report to SF311 about graffiti in my area of the Mission. Since it seems she, or they don't want to be on the public timeline, I'm gonna respect that. But it does feel good to have company.

Come on people, it is really easy in your daily out time on the streets to snap a picture of a graffiti that damages the cityscape, and then feel the appreciation of seeing it cleaned. Your friends will love it too.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Need to update my top ten list for August.

I'm expecting the list to concentrate more on commercial graffiti, and certain long term graffiti that has not been removed. 2298 Mission Street, 2345 Mission St., 2351 Mission Street, back of Giant Value will be on the long term list. The commercial list should include 2293 Mission Street Mark Kaplan realator, Empty Furniture store accross from Mission Police Station, another Mark Kaplan realator, the PGE building on Folsom Street, and Market by Scyamore and Mission Streets. Round out the list with newsracks and rec and park.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wrote a postal letter to DPW asking for fixed pedestal newsracks at 16th and Mission


It was a quickie, four paragraph letter with most being one sentence, but it is done. Has a stamp on the envelope.

if you're reading this, try it. It was easy. It may work. Choose your own corner that needs improvement.

Thanks SF311 twitter staff, they provided me with the link, that I now pass on to my blog

18th and South Van Ness, Beer comerican by Catholic and Korean Churches, + San Carlos school

The Billboard companies, agreed to self regulate themselves, and not put Billboards for items not available to minors, e.g. for 500 ft visibility from places of worship, schools, parks, where children congregate.

But they made a mistake, and have a billboard at 18th and South Van Ness, that is close to the Catholic church, the Korean church and San Carlos elementary school. SF311 had some trouble understanding this request, rather than keep trying, I contacted Clearchannel Billboards, and they said they would pass the request on to people who could do something about it. About 5 days ago, I haven't heard more. Thats good, but if 30 days go by without hearing anything, I should follow up.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I tried

@SF311 Status request for SR 648783 made on May 2. Shown closed but graffit remains. SF311 U R the Best! 8:15 AM Jul 23rd via web

The request had to be resubmitted as a new report because the previous request was closed. The time frame will begin from 7/23/2010. ^GA 10:30 AM Jul 23rd via CoTweet

Friday, July 23, 2010

Was I tired that day

I read my posts on the failure of the of the City to effectivly remove ANY of thhe Commercial graffiti, and now think that in someways a public blog has a newpaper role. I have not gotten a statement from the City about why it has taken so long. Maybe there is a good reason, and in fairness I should try to learn it and present it in my blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Illegal Commercial Postings.

I've read comments that if billboards are allowed, than so should graffiti. I don't like billboards either, but as a society we've developed a system of time, place, and manner type restrictions on corporate billboard in the urban space.

But from my experience in making all these graffitweet reports to SF311, the City is only working to prevent the gangster type graffiti, and has given a green light to the commercial illegal postings. Although they are given just three days to remove an illegal corporate posting, none of the corporate posting that I have reported have come down, compared to the 30 day period for tag graffiti, which has had many successes.

If the City is to be content un-neutral, e.g. giving a green light to illegal corporate posting graffiti of skimpy American Apparel models, Sailor Jerry Rum, movies including those looking violent, foreign beers,should I question being an active part of the process that greenlights corporate lawbreaking scofflaws polluting the urban visual environment, and shutting down more native graffiti?

Commercial postings

SR 696980, The City's goal is to respond to these requests and remove the posting within 3 calendar days. ^BM

Monday, July 19, 2010

I've got to concentrate on getting more graffitweeters.

Think out a strategy for getting graffitweeters.
The most basic strategy is to pay for them.
It is not going to happen by itself, I have been doing this long enough, and although there might be a slight uptick in the number of people using twitter to 311, it is mostly about muni, and almost just me on graffiti.
I did an analysis for Dolores Park and Mission District.
Assuming that people are just going about their normal lifes, and graffitweeting when they see a graffiti that bothers them, to clean up Dolores Park, it would need about 4-7, and 40 to 80 for the Mission District.

Dog people at Dolores Park are good candidate. They are at the park every day. Further thought.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another milestone of success passed.

Another milestone of success, the other building at 18th St and by Mission and Capp Sts was painted clean. The public furniture graffiti is cleaned. The system is mostly working. although exceptions exist, by two month after a tracked report the graffiti is cleaned. Better than I predicted the graffiti is staying off buildings found as blight. several of the top ten buildings still tagged have a ticking clock. At least on the public spaces rapid cleaning means less new graffiti.- will this change crime, use patterns, business successes,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two more top 10 sites cleaned!

Both 780 Valencia and 190 Capp St have been cleaned!!! Successes are happening!! Remember to imagine what Mission St. would be if most of grafffiti and dirty streets were cleaned. Yes we can.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I've been asked to write a how to be a graffitweeter article.

I like that. I'm going to think about what it should contain. Should it contain a significant portion of empowerment ideas, or just a technical tips on how to do so.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why people don't make graffitweets?

I came across this quote, and am thinking if it is valid

I'm inspired by the idea that nuggets of opened data could seed guerilla public services, plugging gaps left by government, but i don't see any of that in the apps list. The reasons aren't technical but psychosocial - the people and communities who could use this data to help tackle their own disadvantage and marginalisation don't have the self-confident sense of entitlement that makes for successful civic hacktivism.


Or turning this observation into my own question of why am I (almost) the only one who graffitweets in the Mission. The reason people don't graffitweet is psychosocial - everyone has a cell phone, even my MetroPCs phone account works, but the people and communities who live in the graffiti filled environment of the Mission don't have the self confident sense of entitlement to an unvandalized environment that makes for successful use of SF311.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spreadsheet - Alpha Version

Yes, ! Another top ten blight building cleaned, Rainbo Bread at 16th and Folsom

The graffiti was cleaned, that building was heavily graffitied way before I started making these graffitweet reports to SF311
Spoke to Stanford urban specialist, advised need change 16 n Mission St. small step newsrack to green neat appearance ones.

TO DO List

Get others to join
Spreadsheet/ This is a serveral part project.
Economic valuation of Service externalities.
Test the sidewalk dirty reports.
Separate Photo Streams for separate type reports.

Justify my TODO's so I'm not spending time just for idleness.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


By 23rd street there are green newsracks that are four wide by two high, they have a attractive and tidy appearance. I would like to get the Valencia and other nearby Mission St newsracks replaced with those boxes. Several months of reports and available photos should give the proof and financial incentives to make it happen.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July starts with two successes !

One of the top blight buildings on the top ten list got a real painting. 2205 Mission St was repainted, and this time like they meant it. There is still some graffiti visible behind a locked gate, and near the roof, but those are legitimate excuses.

Second,someone else has made graffitweets to SF311 about the exterior of the rec building at Dolores Park. I've got help and company !!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Top ten worest gets partly cleaned.

New Page 1

Always on my top ten worest bbuilding gets partly cleaned. 2205 mission st was partly cleaned. But a lot of graffiti reemained visible. Last friday the bbuilding went to blight hearing. I suspect that the work was done by a contractor the City hired to clean did a partial job . The area behind a locked gate was not cleaned at all as was the part more easily acessible from the roof. Some of the graffiti on the wire mesh protecting the window was not cleaned at all. Picture attached.

Seven month process to get two cleans.

Maybe the reason that others do not graffitweet is that the effort is too great to cause an ambirntal change. Imagine a blighted building, one that polutes its neighbors with its bad graffiti. And is a magnet for vandals to spred their graffiti to nearby buildings. If day 1 a report is made. DPW gets the letter out in a week. A month to fix. Followup that it is not fixed after 10 more day. Shedule a hearing in 20 days. If owner is a no show default paperwork out in a week and contractor hired. Job completed in another week. Total time three months. Grafittied a week later. Report a week after. Three mor months. Another graffiti in one week and another report a week later. Elapsed time 7 months with only two paint outs and graffiti present over 90 percent of time. Ie during the 7 month period there could be incremental but no ambiental change. After 7 months a short response time based on 15 days takes effect.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why does no one but me use SF311 ?

Yeah i am making 95 ppercent of the tweets and 99 of the graffitweets to SF311. And it works great. Is the technology too hard for most people? Lack of awareness. Lack of civic sence? Do people want the graffiti? Is making these reports the same as Vigilantism as first wrote the the headline? Should I question if making graffitweets is something that is viewed as unpopular with the type of people who embrace technology in the Mission? Does the twitter crowd want the graffiti and oppose cleaning it? I dont think so, but the fact is no one but me is making graffitweets in the Mission and everyone has a cell phone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

One of my top ten, clean !

Nice to see things getting cleaned.

For July, I'm going to think of my top ten sites to be cleaned, and hope that I could reach 40 % of them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm personally satisfied with observable proof that rapidly reporting and cleaning graffiti works to prevent new incidents and make the area look better.

Is there a metric or observable / testable / verifiable way to see if the often claimed benefit of reducing the perception of criminality and increased property values, etc follows?

Plan working, I hope to bring other voices

I want to adjust my efforts into getting others to make SF311 graffitweets. I've adjusted my template to include hashtags

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Technical Problem

Something has gone wrong with my photo posts to tumblr. I have a backup plan, but it takes longer to do, I am committed to finding an non-intrusive easy way to make these reports, and then seek "volunteers" or paid people to make graffitweets.

But begin to draft up the how to document

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cleaning graffiti does prevent graffiti

Cleaning graffiti does prevent graffiti. Since DPW has been doing a good job in cleaning the graffiti in the areas that I report, the tagging vandals are doing less graffiti on the same blocks.

Reporting works for two reasons. The graffiti is cleaned. Less new graffiti.

My sense is the second reaction, - less new graffiti, only begins after about the third cleaning something like being cleaned quickly for a month,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Noticing the difference

I am really noticing the difference in the areas that I am reporting, graffiti is being cleaned. DPW and the postal service, respond timely. They may not every time make the 48 hour goal, but they treat it like a real goal, and are making it most of the time. Rec and Park are not taking the 48 period goal seriously, Rec and Park compliance and effort remain a concern.

Articles were posted on missionlocal and picked up by SFgate about my graffitweet process. The SFgate article had about 40 comments, so I think this is a issue that generates passions. I read the comments, and most were positive but I was also called a e-sntich, I disregard that one.

But their were comments that resonated, the point being that property owners are already victims of graffiti, and that the process of a DPW letter and possible fine, are making the victims of crime pay. There is at least some truth to that one. But the alternative can not be to leave graffiti up for months.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

More of notes, rather than blog. But that may change

No one is looking at this blog yet, and it is more of notes to myself, than a traditional blog. But there is something about writing, and committing to paper, submitting to the web that means it is serious.

Blogger gives 10 independent pages, and some of the things I'm posting should go their instead.


High Density Technique.
Airplane mode 951 select
Save it outbox for when signal available
book with paper

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quick Text Lists - Top 9

  1. graffiti, photo
  2. Mission Dolores Park
  3. Mission Playground Park
  4. Mission St.
  5. Valencia St.
  6. Pole in front of
  7. Signalbox
  8. mailbox at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Top 10 Public Graffiti locations, (alpha version)

  1. Dolores Park Restrooms/Rec Building / Picnic Tables/Muni bridge / Tool Shed/ Shipping Container/ 19th Street Entrance/ By Children's
  2. Chronicle and other paper Newsrack Boxes
  3. Mission Street from 17th to 19th
  4. Mission Street from 19th to 21st
  5. 18th Street from Dolores to Mission
  6. 19th Street from Dolores to Mission
  7. 16th Street from Folsom to Bryant
  8. Folsom Street from 19th to 16th
  9. Mission Playground Park
  10. ??

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Graffiti is .....

the difference between living in one of the best neighborhoods in the most beautiful city in America, and living in a ghetto.

So I am trying to use ease of sending photo messages from a cell phone to make reports of graffiti. I try to concentrate on public grafitti, such as in parks, on mailboxes, public poles etc, because I think it is the City's job to also try to clean up the graffiti on its property, and it is only going to happen when pushed. Second I look at commercial buildings. I have sympathy for those who are trying to run a business in the City and also have to deal with the problem of graffiti. I believe if the graffiti is cleaned, that businesses will improve. Then there are some trouble spots. Many of them are empty buildings, that the owners are holding off the market in hopes for higher rents, and letting them be neglected and staying graffiti for long periods. There are some building that are hit with graffiti for bad luck, wrong place wrong time. I