In 1995 when the Sunset Park BID first began operation, nearly every inch of the area, including buildings, storefront gates, doorways, lampposts, trucks and even the sidewalk, was covered with graffiti. No surface was safe from the vandals.
In 1999, the Sunset Park BID hired CitySolve to remove graffiti from the entire avenue, about 2,000 tags. Since then, the number of tags has decreased from about 600 the first year to about 300 now, but by keeping continually vigilant, we have been able to keep 5th Avenue virtually graffiti-free. Crews remove tags almost as they appear and anything unusual is reported to the NYPD.
This “victimless” crime has cost the SPBID close to $150,000 over the course of the last 15 years. We continue to work with the 72nd Precinct to keep pictures of tags and possibly apprehend the vandals. If anyone sees a someone vandalizing a location, they are encouraged to report the crime.
Supplemental Sanitation Crew
The Sunset Park BID was created to supplement city services, not to replace them. In order to create a cleaner 5th Avenue, the BID hires extra crew members to empty corner pails, remove stickers from the lampposts and do light sweeping. We are constantly monitoring the program in order to make sure that we are really making a difference. The BID now has hired JBS Cleaning & Maintenance for 4 days a week to perform the tasks we feel are most important. We are in constant communications with the local sanitation garage, BK7, which is keenly aware of the needs of a commercial strip.