Citizen supplants state, city in graffiti removal

January 30, 2015

spray paint wallThe combined efforts of San Luis Obispo police, state transportation workers and Union Pacific personnel did not prove necessary for the removal of graffiti from a railroad bridge in San Luis Obispo. [Tribune]

Police say a concerned citizen likely painted over graffiti that had greeted southbound drivers on Highway 101 for the past two weeks. In doing so, the person probably trespassed, but officers will not search for a suspect, police Lt. Bill Proll said.

On or around Jan. 13, a vandal painted the letters “UOME” on the Union Pacific Bridge over Highway 101 near California Boulevard. The vandal has not been caught, and the message of the graffiti is not entirely clear, but “UOME” is often slang for “you owe me.”

Since the graffiti was located on Union Pacific property, city workers were not legally allowed to access it. If workers were to paint over it from a truck below, they would have to get Caltrans permission, and it would require the temporary closure of at least one lane of the highway.

Caltrans committed to help, and a Union Pacific spokesman said the railroad was in discussions with both agencies. But, the graffiti disappeared late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Proll said someone likely trespassed onto the railroad property and leaned over the side with a paint roller, risking falling or dropping an object on a car below. Still, he is glad it is done, the lieutenant said.

Kevin Rice

Thanks to whoever… WEOU


Jury trial taking place;;;;;;

Judge says to the victim, answer the question please.

Question from the defense attorney to the victim– How did you know it was a Caltrans employee who mugged you?

Victim — He made me do all the work !


I have a pretty solid lead on who did the “paint-over.”

It was Batman. No, really….it was.


Thank you whoever you are for doing this.

Any chance you could do the same to some of the uglier painted utility boxes around SLO? Some are nice but a lot are pretty bad. Just sayin’.


Good job, painter! This BTW is common practice in LA, or it was during my heavy work and commuting days there. A person who removes, paints over, or picks up or otherwise helps with the graffiti problem is called a graffiti guerilla or so I was told. I did a little of this myself. I was just an annoyed resident with too much Sunday first dawn time on his hands.

I was never a big or super active one, but had a specialty removing “slap tags” that drove city crews nuts with having only their water blast removal tools. If a “slap tag” (stick-on prepared plastic letters and numerals from Wal Mart or Home Depot) was reachable with a simple extension ladder, I used a shrink wrap heat gun powered by a quiet Honda generator in the truck bed. Had to get to them before a few days sun-cured the glue backing, and a bit of judicious heat and they peel easily off in comparison to a water blast wash. The paid city graffiti crew down there was dedicated, but being urban LA environs, they were overwhelmed.

Yes, the street cops carded me a few times for having a ladder at 5:45am against a public street sign or traffic signal pole, but once convinced that I had the TACIT blessing of the PW supervisor, they cautioned me about gang danger and drove off. Probably assessing me as an over-involved nut-job volunteer.

From an aging out-of-practice years-ago graffiti cleaner, with a smile on my face from younger years, I salute whomever greyed out that eyesore. Never did I take on any such big mess. You display dedication, son. Thank You.


“The combined efforts of San Luis Obispo police, state transportation workers and Union Pacific personnel” that would require alot of shovels to lean on.


Just goes to prove that an individual

can accomplish in no time

what the world or government and bureaucrats

can’t sort out for who-know-how-long.

Get the job done! Isn’t that the point?

Thanks to the do-gooder.

You have saved the taxpayer a small fortune!


… they thank him, but if he had been caught he would be in handcuffs.


Kudos to you agag1 for using your brain and not making the assumption of a gender label on the brave individual who performed the public service. But it could also have been more than one person at work here, right? ;-)




Must have been a woman!


Thanks to the guy that cleaned it up!


the absurdity of trying to get something done in today’s nanny state government run world…..everybody is just doing their job which precludes them from getting the job done…



They are grateful the “do-gooder” broke the law to cover the graffiti because that’s the only way it ever would have gotten done without 3-years of collaberation. Go figure.

Those who put their faith in government fools baffle me.


“everybody is just doing their job which precludes them from getting the job done”

Best description of our current work-force mindset I’ve ever heard!

Thanks for the rueful chuckle.