TAKOMA PARK, MD – After receiving a petition to allow a resident to continue painting non-commissioned murals on a public sidewalk, city officials announced that everyone now has the right to paint anything they want on public property and assured residents that there will be absolutely no issues with that new policy.
“We studied the ramifications of allowing individuals the right to do as they please on property they do not own and determined that there are no negative consequences,” said the City Manager. “We look forward to seeing what kind of individual expressive art a city of super opinionated, hyper-partisan folks that turn every trivial issue into a full fledged debate come up with.”
The petition was filed last week by Petal Blossom Davis, a resident on Lincoln Avenue, who claimed that it was wrong to be given a code violation for defacing public property with a difficult to remove paint product. After several hours of public testimony, the city attorney advised councilmembers that the mural’s few positive reviews on a local listserv would be hard to argue against in Maryland’s Circuit Court, and therefore the city should back down.
“The last thing this city needs right now is more residents riled up again over sidewalks,” said the city attorney at Wednesday’s council meeting. “Clearly the residents here know way more about free speech laws than the legal experts, so we’re going to rely on them to tell us what they can do.”
After the decision by the council, Takoma Park residents wasted no time in expressing themselves. Ace Hardware in Old Town Takoma quickly sold out of paint as customers rushed to buy up all of the supplies needed to claim their territory for sidewalk and retaining wall murals.
“I’m a self-trained traffic engineer who has read many books on intersectionality, so what better way to express my point of view than to unilaterally repaint the entire intersection at Takoma Junction,” said Nancy Davidson. “Sure, there’s been a recent rise in reported crashes, but I’ve received only positive feedback from Sycamore Avenue residents who now have a permanent right of way onto Highway 410.”
It remains to be seen how the general public will react to the new murals, but so far the city councilmembers are just relieved to find that no dicks had been spray painted on cars parked at the community center.