Raleigh man pressures DOT for graffiti removal

June 15, 2010 6:15:07 PM PDT
Mark Turner commutes from Raleigh to RTP. During his daily drive along I-440, is sees graffiti and does not like it.

"It bothers me when I see graffiti like that, that's been just left there, and festering," he explained.

First, he contacted the NC Department of Transportation because it maintains the beltline, and the brick noise walls.

"I called twice," Turner said. "I've e-mailed a few times, and it doesn't seem like it's a priority for them."

He posted the DOT's response on his blog.

Wake County Maintenance Engineer Steve Halsey wrote in an e-mail that he "can't make graffiti removal a priority based on other work we have on our schedule."

Unsatisfied with that answer, Turner continued writing to personnel higher and higher on the chain of command.

"I understand that there are safety concerns with highway and everything. But after 12 months, this graffiti has been there and it's pretty blatant, it's ugly. I think that is would be good for them to take some time off from the potholes and everything else they're doing and clean it up."

The DOT response mentioned graffiti removal it has performed along I-540, but Turner says, "It's either painted over, or you see a big grey area. And along the Beltline, we're dealing with some high noise walls made of brick."

He wrote Transportation Secretary Gene Conti and the Governor, urging her to expedite the cleanup process.

The Governor's spokesperson told ABC11 Eyewitness News that Perdue referred his concern to the DOT.

Turner says he is trying to be patient, but wonders when the DOT will get around to scrubbing the I-440 graffiti away.

The DOT tells Eyewitness News they have already started cleaning some of the graffiti on the Beltline near Capital Boulevard.

They hope to get the rest by Friday, but because of other priorities, it may take into next week.

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