French market parking lot hit by graffiti vandals

One victim told WWL-TV, this isn't street art, it's just plain vandalism.

Delivery vans, used by vendors at the New Orleans French Market are apparently a canvas for numerous graffiti vandals.

Eyewitness News counted close to a dozen "tagged" vehicles in the parking lot near Elysian Fields and Decatur. One victim told WWL-TV, this isn't street art, it's just plain vandalism.

"Stopping graffiti, that's not going to happen all together, but we could probably stop it at this location," Dana Tharp said.

Another victim said the problem appears to be at night, when the parking lot is mostly empty.

"Whatever we can do to keep the area secure and safe, for not only the visitors who frequent Frenchman Street, but also the people who work here would be great," Mark Allain said.

The parking lot is owned and operated by the New Orleans French Market Corporation.

The city charges vendors $130 a month to park there.

French Market Executive Director Kathleen Turner said, "Although the parking contracts for vendors clearly state that FMC is not responsible for any loss or damage to vehicles, our security officers have made NOPD aware of the vandalism occurring throughout that area and always work closely with individuals who report any criminal activity to help properly address the issue."

Victims say with so many vehicles vandalized, the city should improve security there.

"As a consequence of the lack of security there, my van was stolen, I feel," Tharp said. "Then, when I asked the French Markey Corporation to check the cameras out, I was informed the cameras don't work."

According to the city, the cameras in the parking lots are placed to record the license plates of vehicles entering and exiting the parking lot only.

The French Market Corporation claims it has a security guard that regularly patrols this parking lot 24 hours a day, but some of the graffiti on the vans is quite extensive.

"Some of these tags, multiple colors, a huge area they cover on these vans, seems like whoever's at work, it would take quite a few minutes to do one of those things," Allain said. "I'm wondering how they get away with it."

"Once we see it's happening, it seems like there would be a response," Tharp said. "There has been no response."

© 2017 WWL-TV


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