I took a tour of neighborhood graffiti last week with MPCC president Ken Myrabo, who pointed out a lot of graffiti that I had missed on my many circuits through the park while walking my dogs. I guess it proves that some of us simply screen out graffiti when we see it. Tagging is certainly the lowest form of graffiti, being nothing more the than the unauthorized writing of the perpetrator’s moniker (in words or symbols) on buildings, streets and sidewalks, or objects. We seem to have a lot of that going in certain alleys, especially those in the merchant district near the end of E. Madison Street. Here's an example from the backside of the building housing Starbuck's:
Tagging is vandalism, and the city has a program to help prevent it and remove it. It is not recommended that property owners take the law into their own hands, as did one incensed New Zealand property owner a couple years ago who confronted two teenage taggers, eventually stabbing one of them to death (so reports Wikipedia).
Graffiti should be reported to the City’s Public Utilities Department (684-7587). You can access an on-line graffiti reporting form, as well as get tips on graffiti prevention and information on volunteering for graffiti cleanup, at Keep Seattle Clean.
By way of comparison of graffiti problems in the Park with those in other Seattle neighborhoods, take a look at what graffiti “artists” have done to destroy a mural on a bridge underpass in the Phinney Ridge/Greenwood area: