Pacific Beach Town Council resumes annual graffiti clean-up

Rotaract member Erick Ramirez removing graffiti.
(B.J. Coleman)

Are graffiti tags haunting your Pacific Beach neighborhood? Who ya gonna call? PB Graffiti-Busters!

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Pacific Beach Town Council resumed its annual graffiti clean-up, harking back to the “Ghostbusters” movie franchise with the PB Graffiti-Busters on May 14.

This was the council’s 12th annual volunteer graffiti clean-up.

Dozens of volunteers gathered at Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church to receive training on how to remove spray paint, marker ink and stickers. Then as teams they were assigned different clean-up area zones around PB with specific graffiti locations identified by graffiti surveyors’ reports gathering during over previous weeks.

Volunteers from Pacific Life Church ready to begin graffiti removal in Pacific Beach.
(B.J. Coleman)

Jim Menders, the council’s lead for the event, was among the trainers. He talked about the zone maps, which detailed whether graffiti was on telephone poles (marked with circles) or utility boxes (designated by squares). With the aid of QR codes, volunteers could access photos taken by the surveyors in advance.

Volunteers were provided with graffiti clean-up products in orange utility buckets. They included safety gloves, goggles, paper towels, scrubbies, scrapers and canister of brown spray paint to cover graffiti on phone poles. When graffiti was on private property, volunteers were to get owner permission first.

Graffiti locations inaccessible to volunteers were referred to the City of San Diego for removal.

Among those volunteering was a five-person team representing Rotaract. Members walked south along Jewell Street from the church, removed stickers from a telephone pole and sprayed over painted graffiti. They also stopped at the PB Music Academy, which had graffiti on the fence poles and concrete supports. They continued their efforts as they walked south along Ingraham Street toward the bay.

Rotaract members were among teams that fanned out across Pacific Beach to remove graffiti.
(B.J. Coleman)

According to the PB Town Council’s website, the event was a “huge success” with over 80 volunteers removing more than 600 graffiti tags and stickers within three hours.

“The event was phenomenal,” said Community Relations Officer Jessica Thrift with San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division. “Coming back from the pandemic, the turnout was good. San Diego Police Department enjoys participating in these events.”

Premier sponsors for the graffiti clean-up were Pacific Life Church, Mötsenböcker’s Lift Off, PB Presbyterian Church and The Broken Yolk.