Tulalips: Zero tolerance on graffiti

Tagging, urban art, graffiti.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s not welcome on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

Tribal leaders there want to get rid of all the unauthorized decor that pops up in the community. They don’t care whether the graffiti is the work of gang members, over-zealous artists, bored out-of-work adults or mysterious traveling spray-can bands, but they want it gone.

A group of concerned reservation residents formed a Graffiti Task Force late last year, and plan to meet regularly.

More than 30 people showed up to the task force’s first meeting, according to tribal leaders.

Graffiti isn’t as big of a problem on Tulalip land as it is elsewhere in the county, tribal leaders said, but they don’t want it on their land at all. Right now, tagging and other graffiti marks are mostly done along the bus route on Marine Drive, the main drag through the reservation.

Another prime target they want to tackle is the old railroad bridge that crosses I-5 near Quil Ceda Village. The bridge isn’t used, and vandals often climb out over the busy freeway to spray letters and symbols so they’re visible to traffic passing below. The state Department of Transportation fenced off the bridge and painted over the graffiti in 2007, state bridge engineer Rick Rodda said, but vandals still find a way to deface it.

In Marysville, city leaders have enacted strict rules that require property owners to quickly clean up graffiti that appears on their property or face a fine. Task force leaders said the problem in Tulalip isn’t as severe as it is in Marysville, but it will likely get worse as the weather turns warmer.

To report graffiti, call 360-716-3400.

Krista J. Kapralos: 425-339-3422, kkapralos@heraldnet.com.

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