A neighbor who wishes to remain anonymous requested clarification from the City of Austin about who is responsible for cleaning graffiti at three locations in or near our neighborhood: 1) at the Shoal Creek bridge/railroad overpass on Steck; 2) at what used to be the Luby’s on the southwest corner of Steck and MoPac; and 3) on the Shoal Creek Bridge Tile Mosaic art project at Steck and Daleview. Here’s a copy of the City’s response:
1) The Shoal Creek bridge is owned by Union Pacific Railroad; the City of Austin cannot perform any work on railroad property. Union Pacific has been notified of your concerns. While they have determined that this is a “non-emergency” situation, you may submit a complaint of non-emergency directly to Union Pacific Railroad at www.UP.com/NotifyUP or by calling the Response Management Communication Center (RMCC) at 1-888-877-7267.
2) The Luby’s location is private property and, thus, cannot be addressed by the City.
3) We were unable to locate any graffiti on the Shoal Creek Bridge Tile Mosaic art project. If you do identify any graffiti on this art project in the future, please contact Austin 311.
We appreciate your taking the time to contact the City of Austin with your concerns. Should you have any further questions regarding the presence of graffiti on the public rights of way, please contact Patty Moreno, Project Coordinator with Public Works Department (PWD) Utilities and Structures Division, at (512) 974-1545 or Patricia.Moreno@austintexas.gov.”
Here is how I interpret the letter: cleaning or covering graffiti is the responsibility of the property owner. That’s the City of Austin when graffiti is on public property. When graffiti is on private property (Luby’s and the railroad overpass on Steck), it’s the responsibility of the property owner. The graffiti on the mosaic at the Shoal Creek Bridge is on public property, but I’ve learned that a member of our Beautification Committee saw the graffiti and removed it before City staff arrived. In other words, NSCNA’s Beautification Committee is currently caring for the mosaic, but it is on public property and so does come under the City’s purview.
Sharon Justice, Chair,
NSCNA Media Committee