One of the Bronx’s busiest shopping strips is receiving a well-needed makeover this summer.
Over the last few years, many local elected officials have sponsored graffiti removal programs throughout the borough. On Wednesday, June 22, a new graffiti removal campaign was announced that will rid Castle Hill Avenue of all eyesores.
Known for its abundance of shopping options, Caste Hill Avenue between East Tremont Avenue and Zerega Avenue has had many of its merchants deal with graffiti over the years. Councilwoman Annabel Palma has secured $10,000 through the City Council, and has teamed up with CitySolve and the Bronx Business Alliance to clean-up the unwanted scribbles on Castle Hill Avenue store fronts, gates and walls.
“Graffiti is a plague on this community and I’m proud to have partnered with CitySolve and the Bronx Business Alliance to help remove it from the Castle Hill Avenue business strip,” Palma said. “The work won’t stop here, but this is an important first step in cleaning up our community and letting everyone know that these acts of vandalism will not be tolerated.”
Alongside Mason Pharmacy on 1255 Castle Hill Avenue, Palma’s team, along with representatives of the Bronx Business Alliance and CitySolve, announced the new program and began to remove graffiti off of the store’s wall.
Unlike many graffiti removal programs around the city, CitySolve has already conducted surveys around the community to determine where graffiti vandals tag the most, and will follow-up on each location that is cleaned once a month to ensure that there is no return of the eyesores.
“By making and keeping Castle Hill Avenue graffiti-free, the quality of life will be greatly improved through a much greater appearance,” said Bruce Pienkny, president of the CitySolve Program.
According to Michael Rivadeneyra of Palma’s office, the program will be available for all merchants who have graffiti on their property. He also said that a lot of the graffiti is older work that has been there for some time, making most of it easier to clean quickly.
Bob Bieder, owner of nearby Westchester Square Plumbing Supply, was elated to learn of the graffiti removal program that will keep Castle Hill Avenue a beautiful place to shop.
“The graffiti problem is an ongoing issue that makes things worse for our communities,” Bieder said. “Now that the graffiti is going to be cleaned on Castle Hill Avenue, it makes it more appealing for our shoppers. People feel safer in a cleaner environment and we’re very grateful that this program is being conducted in this area.”
The first clean-up process is scheduled to be completed by mid-July and Palma, along with CitySolve, will be monitoring each business to make sure they are not tagged-up again.