Flushing groups and volunteers are coming together to clean up the neighborhood.
The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) and Flushing Business Improvement District (Flushing BID) have been hard at work eliminating graffiti since the year began, according to City Councilman Peter Koo.
Most recently, QEDC crews removed graffiti from 30 mailboxes and lightposts along Parsons and Willets Point Boulevards and fences along Utopia Parkway, near Flushing Cemetery. The Flushing BID has also conducted cleanups at various businesses along 41st Avenue, as well as the Flushing-Main Street LIRR Station and Lippman Plaza.
“The graffiti removal program has been a huge success,” said Bhavna Punjwani, Business Advisor for QEDC. “A few years ago, QEDC implemented this program with only a few districts, and based on the results, we have had other council districts come to us requesting graffiti removal services in their areas. The program continues to grow.”
Last August, the Flushing BID was awarded $46,000 by Koo to put towards sanitation and graffiti removal efforts in the neighborhood. The group’s first cleanup campaign took place at the Flushing-Main Street LIRR station, a frequent graffiti target, that same month.
Koo and Flushing BID also continue to encourage residents who spot graffiti in the neighborhood to snap a photo, post it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #FlushingGraffitiBusters and tag either party to bring it to their attention.
Dian Yu, Executive Director of the Flushing BID, said the campaign is part of the group’s effort to move toward “a safer and cleaner Flushing.”
“As a business improvement district, we want to create a more welcoming environment for everyone,” Yu said. “Thank you to Councilman Peter Koo funding these important services for our community.”
“Graffiti removal is an important quality of life issue that takes consistent enforcement to make an impact,” Koo said. “That’s why I’ve increased funding for both the Flushing BID and Queens EDC to remove this unsightly vandalism whenever it arises. It also takes the eyes and ears of the entire community. Anyone in Council District 20 can report graffiti locations to our offices, and we will flag the locations for removal.”