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Quebec Transport Ministry continues to clean graffiti off the Turcot interchange - is it worth it?


Motorists that look up while heading through the Turcot Interchange in Montreal will have a hard time missing the crews removing graffiti from the walls and other structures.

Transport Quebec (MTQ) said some areas are coated with a material that makes it easier for the tags and other street art to come off.

"Other structures, we paint over them with latex paint," said MTQ spokesperson Louis-Andre Bertrand. "Every structure that the ministry is responsible for, we go twice a year. Once in the spring and once in the fall."

The MTQ claims it doesn't know how much it costs to remove graffiti but that it's part of the general maintenance budget.

It did say that the paint to remove the tags cost more than $13,000 last year.

That, and it's against the law.

"It is illegal to put graffiti on structures," said Bertrand. "It's an infraction punishable by law, and so we remove them twice per year except in the case that it's a heinous graffiti; then, within a week, we will go and cover it or remove where it's located."

Some argue the merit of covering paint with paint.

"It's doing what it thinks is best in that situation, and I completely understand that, but I think it's a losing battle and one that's quite costly to taxpayers. It's not working," said muralist Jason Botkin.

Botkin said a solution could be to work with those painting the structures and not against them.

"If, for example, we put a little bit of that money or a bunch of that money that was being used for cleanup and created a few scholarships out of it and a really good press release, and suddenly you have this legacy public art project," he said.

For now, the plan is for nature to take over the area.

"As you can see, the greeneries are growing, and once these grow to a higher height -- they will cover the wall, and it will be less enticing to put those graffitis up," said Bertrand. Top Stories

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