In Ottawa, vinyl covers combat graffiti on traffic control boxes

Like countless big cities around the globe, Canada’s capital has been battling graffiti for years, including commissioning artists for a citywide mural program targeting large surfaces. Recently, however, a new program was introduced for Ottawa’s frequently vandalized traffic control boxes that uses brightly colored vinyl covers to both deter graffiti and make it easier to remove.

The pilot project, which was announced in early November, includes 24 boxes on Ottawa’s Bank Street that are covered in vinyl, graffiti-resistant wrappers featuring bright colors and iconic local imagery. “Traffic control boxes are one of the prime targets to be tagged in our community,” Mayor Jim Watson told Canada’s Metro News. “The cost of graffiti removal on traffic control boxes is over CAD 35,000 each and every year.” With the new wrappers, even permanent marker can be easily cleaned off, according to the report. The current pilot has cost CAD 6,000, but – if it proves a success – future boxes will reportedly be made with the covers already on them, at a cheaper cost.

Both Canada Post and two British Columbia cities – Surrey and Burnaby – have already been using a similar strategy, according to a report in the Ottawa Sun. Civic planners in graffiti-ridden cities around the globe: how about you?


Spotted by: RP

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