Neartown residents fed up with graffiti

September 24, 2011 8:59:15 PM PDT
A west Houston neighborhood is fed up with its buildings being marked up.

Residents around Neartown say graffiti is a growing problem in their area, and they are tired of being vandalized.

Becky Pieniadz knows art. It fills nearly every corner of her Montrose antique shop, but there is some art she has a problem with lately.

"Painting on the building, tagging," she said.

Nearly every day, she says she finds new words sprayed on her storefront or windows.

"They call it art, to them, but don't realize they're destroying the beauty of someone's business," antique store manager Abney Hurd said.

Her business isn't the only target of taggers. On a quick drive around Montrose, it's easy to spot on street corners, sidewalks and stop signs.

"We care about the way our neighborhood looks. We're working to actively make it better," said David Robinson with the Neartown Association.

Robinson says their neighborhood group is working with the Houston Police Department and the city of Houston to aggressively scrub out graffiti.

"Graffiti, while some might argue is artistically inspired, is not what we want to advocate in our area," he said.

For now, Pieniadz and Hurd say they will keep painting over the unwanted additions to her store. Eventually, they want more police patrol and heftier punishment for the vandals who keep defacing their property.

Police say there are different types of graffiti. Some is harmless and some is gang-affiliated. There is an HPD database that documents and analyzes what's written in the tags.

To report graffiti in Houston, dial 3-1-1.

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