Cincinnati traffic boxes turned into pieces of art with hopes to deter graffiti

Artwork on traffics boxes hopes to cut down on graffiti
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 5:33 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - 3CDC is hoping a new initiative will keep people from defacing traffic boxes.

You’ve likely driven or walked past traffic boxes in Cincinnati and other places countless times and never really paid attention to the graffiti or paint on the box. But that graffiti, which often includes stickers, can be expensive and time-consuming to remove.

As a matter of fact, 3CDC has an entire team dedicated to cleaning surfaces like traffic boxes along with buildings that are defaced.

Thanks to funding from the Downtown Cincinnati Improvement District, the new artwork will help deter people from damaging the boxes.

“We wanted to do something that would kind of activate these spaces and these surfaces and bring some art to unexpected areas of downtown,” says 3CDC Senior Product Manager of Operations Marissa Reed, “And thought this would be a great way to bring a pop of color, a little pop of life and art to these spaces that are often overlooked.”

The first box to have the wallpaper-like art attached to the outside surface sits at the corner of Elm and Central Parkway.

Each box has a theme that was suggested through a survey sent out by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful earlier this year. The Elm and Central Parkway box is a mascot and athlete theme.

Other themes include transportation, architecture, waterscapes and streetscapes.

“We also have colors that are assigned to different streets,” explains Reed, “So right now we are on Elm Street so any traffic box you see on Elm Street will be blue, on Race Street any traffic box will be purple and so on and so forth. So we are using the color as kind of a way to connect the street and also connect the Central Business District to Over the Rhine as the people feel comfortable hopefully use it as a subtle way of wayfinding downtown.”

This concept is not new and is even used in other Cincinnati neighborhoods. But it has been successful in places like Clifton. Reed hopes it will be around for many years to come here in the downtown area.

“I hope that people see this as a point of pride for our city,” says Reed, “I think that was part of the motivation behind putting iconic Cincinnati things on these, is that we want people to feel proud of Cincinnati. We want them to look at it and say I know that building, I know that person. I’m proud to live here. And see this as something they don’t want to destroy and something improves the downtown area.”

There will be 21 boxes in the Central Business District and another 20 in Over the Rhine later this year.

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please include the title when you click here to report it.