to 1990, graffiti was found on Caltrans facilities and removed from
time to time. It was viewed primarily as a nuisance to be dealt with
along with other work. Presently, it commands a great deal of time
and resources that are used to ensure the removal of unsightly graffiti.
At the same time, the graffiti problems remain with moderate success
Caltrans recognizes the importance of quickly removing graffiti in
order to discourage further vandal activity. Graffiti removal is scheduled
by highway route segments for intensive clean-up. Graffiti that jeopardizes
motorist safety, is obscene in nature, or politically-oriented is
removed as soon as possible.
Caltrans has been experimenting with new and innovative ways of graffiti
removal and prevention. Graffiti that was once seen only on walls
is now showing up on overhead signs, retaining walls, bridges and
bridge columns. With increasing cost for graffiti removal (which exceeds
$20,000/month) and an average of 150,000 square feet of abatement
per month, new and innovative methods are being explored.
The following have been used in recent years:
The use of concertina wire on heavily targeted areas. Concertina wire
is wrapped around the column or end posts as a way of discouraging
taggers from gaining access to the overhead signs.
Rat Guards, a steel cone personnel barrier, is placed on sign posts
to deter taggers from scaling the poles. The guards are being used
at heavily tagged locations. The guards are made of smooth metal and
are disk-shaped, making it difficult to climb on to the overhead signs.
Cobra Shields have been used in the last few years. The shields,
which vary in length and width, extend over the front and sides of
the overhead signs, making it difficult for someone to reach over
and deface the signs.
Graffiti is a community-wide problem with both public and private
facilities being affected and seriously impairs community appearance
For graffiti clean-up along a state highway or freeway, please call:
Diane Valdez: (858) 467-4009 in San Diego County.
Sal Perez: (760) 352-8414 in El Centro.
Ed Smith: (760) 344-3179 in West Brawley.
Rene Coronado: (760) 344-3177 in East Brawley