A contractor who pledged to remove graffiti on stores and buildings free of charge while painting the el in the White Plains Road Business Improvement District has made good on its promise.
Ahern Painting Contractors is now in the final stages of painting el running through the White Plains Road B.I.D. –
between Pelham Parkway and Lydig Avenue.
Since Ahern already has all the equipment on the street to paint graffiti off the buildings safely, the contracting company that paints elevated structures for the MTA voluntarily removed the graffiti to beautify the shopping area.
“Ahern cleaned the graffiti off of buildings and utility poles for us, but they weren’t required to do that,” said White Plains Road executive director Larry Prospect. “While we were slightly inconvenienced by the painting, and will be happy when it is over, we are very grateful that Ahern Painting has gone the extra mile to help us.”
Ahern utilized boons, or lifts, already in place for painting the el to remove graffiti from the sides of buildings more than eight feet off the ground, washed and removed the vandalism from store awnings, and also painted scrawl off utility poles.
Prospect said that the painting over of the above-ground-level graffiti which merchants cannot usually reach will have a positive impact on the shopping on the street, despite the inconvenience of merchants losing parking spaces to work crews.
Ahern Painting has been moving south along the el, starting at Allerton Avenue and will soon reach where the number 2 and 5 trains run underground near Bronx Park East.] All of the paining was done by hand, as required by the MTA. Ahern painted with specially made four and half inch brushes.
“It is hard work, and we are at in from 7 a.m. in the morning until 3 p.m. in the afternoon, contending with traffic and people blowing car horns at the work crews,” said Joe Karish, safety and health engineer for Ahern Painting Contractors. “The traffic is really tough, [with the lifts taking up parking spaces] so we felt it was the least we could do to help out the affected stores.”
“They went out of their way to help us,” Prospect said. “When the painting of the el is all over, the street is going to look a whole lot cleaner.”