Wynwood's Sticker Culture Is Making Its Streets Unsafe

Categories: Opinion

Photos by Kerry McLaney
I love Wynwood, I really do. And I also love stickers; I've been collecting stickers since I was a kid and pride myself on having a pretty dope assortment.

But something has been really bothering me about the sticker culture in Wynwood. They're everywhere. I mean, everywhere. You can't go a block without seeing at least 20... on buildings, doors, trees, fire hydrants, mailboxes, light poles, and even on street signs. Most of the time, the stickers have been slapped on the back of signs. But now, it's gotten so out of hand that they have been ending up on the front.

Yes, I get that the front is seen more than the back. But there is an obvious problem with this: People can't read the signs.

I encountered a "sticker artist" in front of Panther Coffee last week, and I watched him sticker the stop sign at 24th and NW 2nd Avenue, as well as the handicap sign in their small parking lot. At least he had the decency to remove someone else's tattered sticker and affix his own on top of it. I approached him and asked, "Why would you want to cover a street sign?" His response? "I'm beautifying the neighborhood." Has it really come to this?

KerryMcLaney_NewTimes_stickers8.jpg
Wynwood Ways was launched back in February 2013 as a "collaboration to make the neighborhood a more pedestrian-friendly cultural destination", according to Wynwood Arts District Association. Not only are the Carlos Cruz-Diez crosswalks vibrant and visually stimulating, but they also came with "STATE LAW STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS WITHIN CROSSWALK" signs on each side of Northwest Second Avenue. I've never seen one car stop for a pedestrian in that intersection. Why? Because the signs are completely covered in stickers. The signs have been replaced a couple times already, and it's only been a few months.

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Goldman Properties once had a Sticker Wall in the Wynwood Walls where people were encouraged to plaster the whole wall, but of course after time, the materials disintegrated and became an eyesore. It was buffed out and featured murals by Roa and currently by Daze. Goldman Properties also had a "GO! STICKER" exhibition in February and it was fantastic! Over 100 artists submitted stickers that were available for purchase. I scored over a dozen myself. The Hangar has another sticker event coming up this weekend, too.

There are plenty of opportunities for sticker artists to display their work around town. I'm all for the sticker culture but please -- stop covering the damn street signs.

Just think: If Wynwood had garbage cans, those would be covered too.

--Kerry McLaney, founder of Wynwood-based 305 Creative Group.

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28 comments
usvsthebuff
usvsthebuff

Dont forget to check out USVSTHEBUFF.COM to see more pictures of stickers beautifying our horrible street signs While your there check out the awesome graffiti our city has to offer!

Lex Dillinger
Lex Dillinger

how is this an article??? hey EDITORIAL... can i have a job where i write about nonsensical issues. "Miami is gets hot in the summer, is the sun to blame?"

shalmont
shalmont

The stickers are awesome!

If you don't know what a stop sign looks like just by the shape you shouldn't be driving. PERIOD.

Cars dont stop for pedestrians... not because they have stickers on them...  but because miami drivers are by far some of the worst and most rude drivers in this side of the planet.

Ran out of stuff to write about?

Ivan Roque
Ivan Roque

Hahahhahahhahahahabhahahhaahhahahshsvshshsgsghdhshshdsbhsshshbsh xghdhhdbshdj!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dont forget to look twice before you cross the street hehehe

Glenn Graham
Glenn Graham

It's an Old Law, but it's Still against the Law to cover over any Trafic Signs. Also, Stapling, Nailing Signs to Wooden Poles this is still a DANGER to Telephone and FPnL Personnel that may have to climb a Stick...

Steven C. Finlay
Steven C. Finlay

I agree with Kerry McLaney. This is VERY wrong. Arrest these sticker people. When you create hazards to lives, you should go to jail.

Milly Villoch
Milly Villoch

No worries,, they'll get replaced,, slowly but surely under the taxpayer's bill..:) GO STICKERS!! :-)

Erik Ace SobeArtist
Erik Ace SobeArtist

Because the signs are completely covered in stickers and the writer puts a photos of a sign that can be seen! Who is writing these things high school juniors?!

erikace
erikace

 Because the signs are completely covered in stickers and the writer put a photos of a sign that can be seen! Who is writing these things high school juniors?!

Patrick Walsh
Patrick Walsh

I don't see why blame should be displaced to the drivers. Yes we all know what an octagon means, but there's also a reason why it's bright red. Another issue is that signs that say "tow away zone" are being covered. I've known a few people that have been towed because they've parked in seemingly legit spots.

Rod Deal
Rod Deal

Unsafe? You're IN WYNWOOD! The word safe doesn't exist in Wynwood.

Geoff Paugam
Geoff Paugam

Yes the sticker putter uppers should have a little more sense...but like post above...the OCTOGONAL shape is universal and means STOP in any language!

Zip Per
Zip Per

A sign in that shape can only mean one thing, When I went to Cancun they were also shaped like that but said ALTO ! I got the picture because i know what a STOP sign looks like since childhood.

mindgruv
mindgruv

@Lex Dillinger it's an entry on a blog. why don't you get a job in a hospital...maybe they can surgically remove the stick out of your bunghole.

cpchester
cpchester

@Fatima Filgueira-Vichot How about parking signs? Those are confusing even when they aren't covered in mierda. 

erikace
erikace

ok if u dont know where to park then u should be towed! Signs are just a legal thing! Dont park in private property, dont park infront of a fire hidrant, dont park where its yellow on the gutter! SIMPLE!!

shalmont
shalmont

@Rod Deal hahahah good point brotha... "THIS NEIGHBORHOOD HAS GONE DOWN THE DRAIN... THESE STICKERS ARE RAISING THE CRIME RATE AND DESTROYING OUR COMMUNITY!"

mr author dude........ its wynwood...... you know... wynwood ... try googling Overtown, or just watch a few first 48 episodes 

Dilbert
Dilbert

@Zip Per Do you notice a white Octagon under the midday sun when driving and watching for pedestrians too? Putting up stickers on street signs is and always has been illegal. Just because it's art doesn't mean it can be a safety hazard.

shalmont
shalmont

@erikace Excactly, miami drivers are always looking for excuses to do stupid sh*t.

shalmont
shalmont

@DilbertNo you are a fcking retard for having a hard time figuring out where you can and cant park, put a helmet on faggot.. you are clearly a danger to yourself if you dont have that minimal level of common sense.

Dilbert
Dilbert

@shalmont @erikace You guys are fucking retards. "Signs are just a legal thing". I hope your cars get towed one day because you failed to see something covered in  graffiti. See what that feels like.

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