DATE: December 7, 2011
Traffic signal cabinet with art wrap at Las Olas Boulevard and Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberly Maroe, Public Information Manager
Broward County Board of County Commissioners
Those rather bland looking traffic signal cabinets visible at many intersections will soon be turned into pieces of art. Broward County Commissioners have given the okay for cities and other governmental entities to art wrap the County-owned utility boxes as long as there is no cost to the County.
The initial request came from the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Association (DDA) which plans to decorate the traffic signal cabinets in conjunction with the city’s Centennial Celebration.
“I think this is a great idea but there has to be some criteria established and an application process put in place,” said Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler. “I’d also like to see other forms of art allowed and not just limited to an art wrap.”
The placement of art wraps on traffic control cabinets has been recognized as one potential element to integrate civic art with public infrastructure in the Broward County County-wide Community Design Guidebook. County staff agreed to a pilot test of one traffic control cabinet (located at Las Olas Boulevard and South Andrews Avenue) to ensure that the art wrap would not impact the traffic signal control operation. The wrap for the pilot test was installed in March 2011. Over the last eight months, the wrap has not negatively impacted the operation of the traffic signal control cabinet.
“I mentioned this at the Galt Ocean Mile Association meeting and all the folks there were very excited about it,” said Broward Commissioner Chip LaMarca.
The Fort Lauderdale DDA plans to affix similar art wraps on at least 15 other cabinets throughout the downtown Fort Lauderdale area. One other municipality has inquired about similar installations within its jurisdiction.
“It's important that we have an agreement that not only makes the city responsible for the payment and the installation, but additional maintenance and if vandalism does occur that there's a time frame in which they have to fix it so you don't have an unsightly mess,” said Commissioner Ilene Lieberman. “It's not just about the initial costs; it's the long-term maintenance, as well.”
Until a formal application process is developed and implemented, County staff will utilize applicable conditions of the Highway Construction and Engineering Division’s existing permit process to monitor the installation of art wraps by the municipalities and governmental entities. The respective municipality will be responsible for all costs, potential liabilities and maintenance associated with the art wrap installation. The municipality will also remove the art wrap at its cost at the direction of the County if necessary for any reason.
County Commissioners approved the program with stipulations that other forms of art be included, criteria be established for the application process, as well as language reflecting that cities be responsible for maintenance and vandalism within specified time-frames.