Contractor to tackle 2nd story graffiti

Graffiti vandalism on the second and third floors of stores and buildings in the White Plains Road B.I.D. shopping area has been an eyesore. Now a city contractor hired to paint the el will also touch up trouble spots free-of-charge. Photo by Robert Benimoff

Merchants in the White Plains Road Business Improvement District were happy to learn that a contractor who will be removing graffiti from the el near their shops has also agreed to remove graffiti on top of their stores.

Ahern Painting Contractors will be removing graffiti from the el above White Plains Road in the area of the B.I.D., south of Pelham Parkway. The company has been in touch with Community Board 11, and had been working with businesses on the shopping strip to create minimal disruption during the painting process.

White Plains Road B.I.D. executive director Larry Prospect was able to work on a deal with Ahern to have the company paint graffiti above ground even though their city contract does not require them to do so.

“Ahern will clean graffiti higher than eight feet with the cherry picker at no charge while working on the el,” Prospect said. “It is really tremendous and a great community thing to do.”

Prospect said that over the past few months he has noticed an increase in graffiti above ground, often ten or twelve feet in the air on sides of buildings that are above stores. Most graffiti clean-up programs cannot reach higher than eight feet.

The graffiti removal from the el offered the perfect opportunity to remove aboveground graffiti because lifts will be in place during the painting process, allowing work crews from Ahern easy access to high spots where it may be difficult to remove the vandalism.

“Since we have the boons [lifts] already, Larry asked us to help out since it really wasn’t a lot of extra effort because the equipment would be on the street anyway,” said Joe Karash, safety and health engineer for Ahern Painting Contractors. “We have all of the proper equipment to do the painting safely, so we said yes.”

Painting should take place soon. The Ahern painting crews are moving from spots further north on the el into the B.I.D. area.

Karash said: “We have been painting elevated structures for 30 years; it is what we do.”

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