By Miriam Raftery
January 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – A reader asked ECM to look into why graffiti along trolley lines in El Cajon have not yet been cleaned up despite complaints spanning a year. “Several citizens have been more than frustrated,” wrote Maryann Ostermeyer, who said that to date, neither the city nor Metropolitan Transit Service (MTS) has taken responsibility for cleanup.
“It has taken a long time, but it is due solely to MTS regs about who and how people work within their ROW (right-of-way),” City Manager Douglas Wililford wrote in an e-mail to Councilman Gary Kendrick in response to ECM’s inquiry. “We have been diligent about this and will continue to be," he wrote, then cited progress in efforts to work with MTS.
MTS requires special training to remove graffiti near the tracks. According to Williford, “Our contractor, AES, has now completed the training with MTS and provided them with the written proof of insurance. This was complete approximately one month ago. Since this time they have been grappling with MTS over removal of graffiti on MTS equipment along the trolley track. They did not want to remove graffiti from the buildings and leave the graffiti on the MTS equipment (power poles, transformers, etc.) that are right next to the buildings they are working on.”
The holiday season and rain led to further delays, said Williford, adding, “I've instructed them to remove the graffiti that they are able to remove (this will be about 99%) as soon as possible.” He hopes to see the cleanup arranged for next Tuesday, pending MTS arranging for a flag man with the required three-days notice.
“Additionally, I've asked them to schedule removal along the tracks on at least a monthly basis,” he said.