Traffic control boxes transformed into art

Government By David Snelling, Reporter Thursday, May 20, 2021

They are a bit of beauty sprinkled along Miami Lakes Drive: Five formerly mundane traffic light control boxes are now wrapped in vibrant patterns of South Florida flowers and foliage.

The designs are the creation of Miami Lakes artist Barbara Baron, 66, and a project of the Miami Lakes Neighborhood Improvement Committee.

“The town was looking for colors that are part of the town’s landscape,” Baron said. “I think they had in mind my work for the design of the boxes.”

Baron said officials chose five of her oil paintings which were transferred to wraps to cover the boxes.

Signs and Banners LLC of Miami printed the wraps and installed them.

The beautified boxes were unveiled in April and can be seen along Miami Lakes Drive on two blocks in front of Royal Oaks Plaza; beneath the Palmetto Expressway, at Northwest 67th Avenue and at Miami Lakeway South.

Baron, who owns a graphic design firm and studied art at the University of Florida, said the bulk of her work is of the region’s tropical plants.

Her nature photographs inspire her paintings; images of mango leaves on one of the traffic light control boxes came from her back- yard, she said.

The project was underwritten with an $1,800 donation from Miami Lakes AutoMall.

“The bottom line is I’m always for beautification in this town we love so much,” said Fred Senra, a town resident and partner in the auto dealership.

“We all work here, live here and play here,” Senra said. “This project just improves how our town looks.”

Rudy Lloredo, chair of the Neighborhood Improvement Committee, said Baron’s designs reflect the landscape in Miami Lakes.

The committee’s goal was to make sure the project was done to perfection and chose Baron for the job, he said.

“Miami Lakers like to see good artwork around town,” LLoredo said. “The project makes Miami Lakes greener and shows how important our canopies are to Miami Lakes.

“It blends in with the environment,” he said.

Among those present for the unveiling were Baron, Senra, Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid; Vice Mayor Luis Collazo; Councilmembers Marilyn Ruano and Tony Fernandez and from the Neighborhood Improvement Committee, Lloredo; Vice Chair Mario Pinera and members Guerlin Escar and Jesus Mendoza.

Collazo said the project highlights the town’s sense of community involvement.

“The selection of an artist from Miami Lakes and the sponsor being a Miami Lakes business is like
a home run for the town,” Collazo said.

The wrapping of the boxes was accomplished with the help of Miami Dade County Commissioner Rene Garcia and former Commissioner Steve Bovo; Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works and the Florida Department of Transportation, the town said.

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