Cold Weather Slowing Down Graffiti Removal

Bernie Tafoya
January 11, 2019 - 8:40 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The state said there’s a reason you may be noticing more graffiti along the Chicago expressway system in recent weeks and it may not be because of a spike in graffiti vandalism.

IDOT spokesman Guy Tridgell said graffiti has been a chronic problem on the expressways, as well as on other property owned by the city, CTA and individuals, but he does not know if there's, necessarily, been a spike in graffiti. 

Graffiti has been noted by motorists most notably along the Eisenhower Expressway, but it's also seen in other portions of the expressway system, especially in the downtown area. 

Tridgell said graffiti removal techniques and materials don’t work as well in the colder months and that graffiti removal is done by the same crews that handle pothole patching and other maintenance. Graffiti is removed through "soda blasting" and paint.

"At this time, there isn’t anything to suggest that there’s been more incidents of it, it just hasn’t been removed as quickly just because of the time of the year," he said.

However, that does not mean graffiti is not removed at all during the winter months.

"If it does appear in spots where it’s a clear distraction and a threat to safety or it’s offensive, it’ll get handled right away," he said.

And, even when it is removed, "One of the more frustrating things for us is that we’ve had concentrated efforts to remove graffiti on our system and sometimes it appears hours later after it’s been removed."

IDOT's Guy Tridgell suggests people call to report when taggers are vandalizing property with graffiti.