Airport Wash in need of a major scrub down

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Airport Wash in need of a major scrub down

CREATED Jun. 20, 2012

Reporter:  Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -The City of Tucson grapples with graffiti on a regular basis, but one area in particular is out of control. Midvale Park Neighborhood Association President Joe Miller sent 9OYS photos of a growing graffiti problem he says no one is fixing.

"Right now there's over 300 tags, I mean come on we have to get that stuff off of there," Miller said.

9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito went to Airport Wash to take a look for himself. Miller was right. Graffiti was everywhere.

"It's just awful," Miller said. "It was really, really terrible. It's right over the highway where people come into our city. One of the first things people see is graffiti."

The Airport Wash sits right next to I-19. 9OYS wanted to know how it could sit so close to the freeway with little effort to maintain it. Benito made several calls looking for answers, but only got one callback, from the Ward 1 office.

Council woman Regina Romero was not available for an interview, but her council aide tells 9OYS they first heard of Miller's complaint two days ago. Romero personally responded to his emails right away and have submitted work orders. The Ward 1 office adds there is a backlog of graffiti work orders, and it could take a few days. Miller says this problem is more than a few days old.

"Some people are trying to do things, but this has been around for a very long, long time," Miller said. "Last time it was thoroughly cleaned up was by my volunteers. A 72-year-old hurt himself down there. I don't feel like sending my volunteers down there to get hurt again."

Airport Wash cuts right across Spectrum Mall and sits right out front of a Red Lobster. It's an eyesore to a mall that brings in millions of dollars in revenue says Miller. He's hopeful city crews realize this stretch should be a priority.

"When people let you know there's carts or graffiti, we need to clean it up right away," Miller said. "Especially in areas where people will stop by to shop and spend their money."

Graffiti Protective Coatings is the company the City of Tucson pays to clean up graffiti across town. They said GPC does not clean up city washes. That work is done by the city's own crews.

To report graffiti in your area, you can call the city's 24-hour graffiti hot-line, (520) 792-CITY.