Vandals Tag Butterfly Underpass

Just as the paint was drying on the restoration and improvement of the Butterfly Lane pedestrian underpass, vandals on August 29 left their own signature. The three-foot tall and 10-foot wide inscription “VANDLS” was spray-painted in silver and white in a brazen act that comes only a few days since more than a dozen volunteers completed their project.

“I just think it’s disappointing that not only are we seeing more graffiti, but these people also don’t respect public art,” said Austin Lampson, who initiated and shepherded the paint project. “What’s worse is that these people are bored, challenged, have no manners and obviously don’t feel a real sense of community.”

The Montecito Journal has forwarded a photo of the graffiti to the County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies keep an extensive database of graffiti photos and will be able to cross-reference the recent photo with their stock images.

The Butterfly Lane underpass begins on Coast Village Circle, passes under Highway 101 and ends at the railroad tracks in front of Butterfly Lane. Lampson’s project dates back months ago when she approached community leaders and Caltrans to touch up the existing mural and to duplicate that mural on the opposing wall.

The effort involved lengthy permitting procedures, Lampson said, in addition to fundraising time for paint and materials. In all, Lampson and volunteers used about 23 gallons of paint and the entirety of August 26 to complete the project.