UPDATE: 'Legal graffiti wall' not city-sanctioned

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- South Bend's taken an aggressive approach to combating graffiti. So, many are surprised by what they see while walking along the river downtown.

A portion of the wall underneath the LaSalle Street Bridge is labeled 'legal graffiti wall.' So far, only a few people have decided to test that claim with doodles and phrases.

"Not that I agree with graffiti, but I guess if it's keeping it in one location, it's better than getting it all over the city," said South Bend resident Kyalah Jones.

When NewsCenter 16 contacted the police department, parks department and DTSB on Wednesday, they didn't even know about the 'legal graffiti wall.'

On a Thursday morning followup, the parks department stated that the wall actually isn't city-sanctioned, meaning the graffiti is against municipal code.

South Bend Parks Department Superintendent Phil St. Clair says, “I'm not sure where it originated from, the thought, but I'm just going to assume that someone took upon themselves to create space to do graffiti. However there are no public places that we are aware of that have been authorized.”

They say the same message was stenciled at another park as well. Both walls will be painted over.

Still, the message is catching the attention of many people who walk by. And, some think it's a great idea.

"I think it's beautiful, but in the right place," said South Bend resident Gloria White. "You don't need to tag someone else's property or make it somewhere where it's an eyesore. So, if they're giving you an opportunity where you can express yourself and you won't get into any kind of trouble, I think it's a cool idea."

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