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NYC Residents Call Out City Officials For Graffiti Wipeout In 191st Subway Tunnel; “They Didn’t Consult The Community, They Didn’t Engage With Us”

Cousins! A surprise clean up of 191st Street subway station in Washington heights has been the topic of discussion recently as residents speak out in outrage of the tunnel’s signature graffiti being removed!

In conversation with Pix 11 news countless commuters expressed their feelings towards the wipeout in saying that the freshly painted plain walls signifies more than a quick clean up but more of erasing the city’s authenticity. Resident’s also spoke on how they felt about city officials alleged disregard of failing to communicate with commuters on expected changes they were planning to make.

“It looked bland once they painted it like two days ago – I thought they were trying to destroy the art,” said a Washington Heights resident.

However the tunnel’s new look didn’t last too long as new graffiti murals have already began to surface just two days after it’s full completion.

“If you want graffiti in here, let’s coordinate with the city and bring in graffiti that is pleasant to look at,’ said a Washington Heights resident.

It has been indicated that back in 2015 city commissioners requested for local artists to come and paint a mural within the tunnel for an 11 month project.

City Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa tells ABC News that in 2022 she had asked numerous city agencies to clean up the once garbage covered area that also had people sleeping it throughout the day. However she admits that the clearing of the wall’s images were not apart of the plan.

“It took us by surprise and we were disappointed by the fact the community had no notification when it came to the painting of the tunnel,” said Carmen.

Reports read that officials are hopeful to put new art in place that accommodates everyone. There’s also been word that there will be more police on the premises as well cameras added to the tunnel.

“We are planning to look for potential artists that will design the 191st Street Tunnel. This is a priority for me because I understand the symbolic meaning behind this cultural mural,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

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