In 1985, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the United States Department of Interior started a plan to eradicate urban blight and graffiti as a means of encouraging clean architecture.
Under the program, which was called the Safer Streets Program, the SFPUC installed 848 graffiti-free piers around the city and installed 653 permanent graffiti-free graffiti walls throughout the city.
What’s the city doing?
Over the past five years, SFPUC has installed an average of 3,000 new graffiti-free piers a year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The San Francisco Parks Department has installed 10,000 new permanent graffiti-free walls.
The San Francisco Park District has added two new piers in recent years. And San Francisco’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Architectural League have recommended tagging the city with graffiti-free walls throughout its historic districts.
What about graffiti in public places like libraries?
The SF Parks Department, in cooperation with the SFPUC, has installed two new piers in recent years in libraries in Richmond, Berkeley and the Castro District. They’re also working with the nonprofit Central Library in the North Beach/Downtown SF area to implement new technology to remove graffiti in public libraries.
Is it legal?
While graffiti does not present a significant public safety concern, graffiti is considered hazardous waste and is subject to the law, according to the city. In addition, if you’re found guilty of posting graffiti that violates the laws, you could be fined up to $2500 or imprisoned up to a year.
SF officials, including Mayor Lee and Parks Department Director Aaron Peskin, are planning a “Paint Safe” project that will remove graffiti in public spaces at no cost:
SF Public works crews are removing graffiti that is strewn across city streets and the park. Photo courtesy of the SFPUC Public works crews are removing graffiti that is strewn across city streets and the park. Photo courtesy of the SFPUC
Is it legal to use spray paint in public?
No. This is one of the most common reasons people spray paint in public parks. While not technically illegal, it might cause confusion or anger with other parkgoers.
Why are there so many new graffiti-free piers in San Francisco?
Graffiti is often considered as a public safety issue. And since the program started, graffiti has been a consistent nuisance in public parks, parks such as
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