While walking over Echo Bridge on the Newton/Needham line this morning I spotted a truck at the end of the bridge with a hose running out the back and down under the bridge. The truck belonged to the MWRA (Mass Water Resource Authority) and this was their anti-graffiti crew on the job.
A fair amount of new graffiti recently went up under the main arch on the Needham side of the river and these guys are the erasers. They told me in recent years they’ve come up with a relatively new citric acid based cleaner that does a great job and is harmless to the river. They spray it on, let it sit a while, and then power wash the graffiti away.
The rather philosophical workman explained that the key to dealing with graffiti is to try to deal with it relatively quickly. He said that you need to thwart the teenage perpetrator’s delusions of immortality. They “tag” to leave their lasting mark. If you erase it quickly, eventually they realize that its futile and take their spray cans elsewhere.