After negotiating an amicable settlement with workers and treating Bay Area TV viewers to a long, rambling, ceremonial armistice, BART employees confronted yet another problem when they returned to work this morning: While the transit system's staff were mired in contract disputes on Monday, vandals snuck in and defaced two station platforms.
This morning, Glen Park station bore a black Juggalo clown silhouette (see definition here) and several spray-painted tags, some of which smudged out a sign on the station platform. The culprits hit Balboa station, too, suggesting they may have also redecorated a mile-long tunnel between them. BART's Deputy Chief of Patrol Operations Ben Fairow couldn't confirm that, but says he's still investigating the situation.
While it's likely that BART captured the vandals on video -- there are, after all, some 2,000 surveillance cameras scattered throughout the BART system -- investigators have yet to turn over any evidence for public viewing. Luckily, a local photographer managed to enshrine the Juggalo tag on Flickr before BART scrubbed it clean.
Fairow concedes that the strike made BART more vulnerable to graffiti, both because transit agents and passengers aren't present to deter vandals, and because no one is around to clean up after them. Graffiti artists occasionally commandeer BART during the four-hour block when it's closed every night, but station staff usually clean it in time for the morning commute, he says. In this case, "it looked like they'd been there a long time."
Fortunately for BART, they left behind a hefty forensic trail, given that graffiti tags can serve as a sort of fingerprint. (Fairow says BART has caught vandals in Richmond that way.) Perhaps the big question looming is how the juggalos got to San Francisco in the first place. After all, conventional wisdom says that most of them reside in rural parts of Sacramento County, or the small hinterlands of the East Bay.
Without BART, that's a pretty far commute.