Photo: JT McSpadden, City of Johnson City Community Relations Department

There were lots of smiling faces as two new traffic wraps were installed on Boone Street in front of Johnson City Transit. These are the second and third traffic wrap installations in downtown Johnson City. The first was placed by the Johnson City Public Library at the corner of Fairview and Roan streets last year. The wraps are made from a durable vinyl material that can last for many years.  Members of the Boys and Girls Club created designs for the wraps under the supervision of JCPA Committee member Sheri Earnhart and alumni and staff from the club.

The club members decided that pollination and safety were two themes they wanted to explore in their designs. The wrap designs are aligned with the local pollination program (known as the “What’s the Buzz” campaign) that provides education and outreach to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators while highlighting the issues associated with their decline. The program also seeks to develop the pollination corridor, or pollinator-friendly habitat, throughout the downtown and East Tennessee State University. So now when you notice bees and flowers and bears with honeycombs on the wrap designs, you’ll know why!


So how do they get these wraps on the control boxes? With trained vinyl wrapping professionals, that’s how! Vinyl wrapping is a delicate process and must be done with precision and care to ensure that the wraps are smooth (creases are not pretty!) and have the proper orientation. It’s like putting a giant sticker on a 3 dimensional object.

Staff from Stafford Custom Graphics carefully place the wrap on one side of the control box. They remove the backing from the top half of the “sticker” first and adhere it to the box, and then they repeat the procedure on the bottom half.

After one side of the wrap is in place, the smoothing begins! Small plastic scrapers are used to work out any ridges that may have formed in the vinyl.


Bet you won’t guess what they use to seal the wrap to the box! But if you’re thinking of heat, you’re correct. They bring out a blow torch and move it quickly over the wrap to seal it to the box. The blow torch can also be used to smooth out creases that might come up.

The blow torch in action!

Boys and Girls Club members got the chance to assist in the installation of their work. Stafford staff handed out several plastic scrapers, and with so many helping hands, the wrap was smoothed out in a flash.

Photo: JT McSpadden, City of Johnson City Community Relations Department
Photo: JT McSpadden, City of Johnson City Community Relations Department

Johnson City Public Works staff even gave a quick lesson on the operating systems within the traffic control boxes! Everyone learned something new.


Johnson City Public Art’s traffic wrap program turns ordinary traffic control boxes into works of art and is intended to beautify our City by adding some color and creativity to the urban landscape. Keep an eye out for more traffic wraps in the near future! You might see some new designs pop up around Buffalo Street *wink wink*. Thanks to everyone who made these two new wraps possible!

View the slideshow below for additional installation photos:

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