Footbridge covered by graffiti tags

Graffiti has been plastered all over the walkway, side-rails, and even fencing of this footbridge over the Bruckner Expressway at Middletown Road. Similar problems are also affecting the Waterbury Avenue pedestrian bridge.

With graffiti popping up almost everywhere, there seems to be no place that is immune to those who wish to leave their ‘tags’ for the world to see.

After the reopening of the Waterbury Avenue pedestrian bridge in record time by state DOT on September 2 with a temporary replacement bridge after a truck took out part of the bridge in August 8, light was shone on an ugly, longstanding problem on the Waterbury Avenue and Middletown Road pedestrian bridges.

Graffiti has covered the walkway and even the fencing of the two footbridges, and no one from any city or state agency has fully addressed graffiti on the concrete path of the footbridges, over the Bruckner Expressway.

“We are always very concerned about graffiti on the Middletown Road pedestrian bridge,” said Spencer Estate Civic Association president Al Carena. “It gets cleaned up, and then comes back.”

Carena’s organization has focused on clean-up efforts on the sides of the footbridges, and they are painted often, as vandals love to tag the sides of the entrances to the overpass.

While the sides of the entrances to the walkways next to the Bruckner service road, Kearney Avenue, McDonough Place are painted frequently, no sandblasting has occurs on the surface of the walkways over the highway, where the deafening sound allows vandals and youngsters the opportunity to use the two footbridges as a hangout.

“We have young people coming up here at all hours of the night doing who knows what,” said Councilman Jimmy Vacca, at the dedication of the temporary Waterbury Avenue footbridge on September 2. “The sound is deafening, and they use this as a cover to do whatever they want.”

Everything from ‘profound’ political messages, to artless scribbles cover the pathways over the highway, with the even fencing and guardrails succumbing to spray painted nonsense.

State DOT did do a graffiti cleanup on part of the Waterbury Avenue bridge as they put in a temporary link to replace the part of the span the truck destroyed, but other than that action, it has been a graffiti free for all.

The New York City DOT, which is responsible for graffiti removal on footbridges if State DOT has no work project going on, said that the best thing residents can do to remedy the situation is to call 311 and file a report.

“It is important to report any obscene language or anti-Semitic marks,” said Craig Chin, of the City DOT. “Those are removed right away. For all other graffiti, call 311 and it will get routed to our people, who will sandblast or paint over the graffiti.”

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