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Paint The Town! Pilot Program

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The Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT) is excited update you on Paint the Town!

This pilot program allows community members to paint temporary street murals on Oakland’s roads. To view the application follow this link.

You may have seen some of these murals popping up around the Town. Murals are designed and painted by Oakland community members, reflecting our communities’ cultures and values, while also bringing some vibrancy and delight to our standard asphalt.

Mural installation started in Spring 2018, and will be taking place over the course of the year. To get an up-to-date glimpse of the projects on the ground, see the map below

Paint the Town! Advancing Equity

To advance OakDOT’s equity goals, the department wanted to ensure this program was accessible to underserved communities. The program set a goal to approve projects on a 2:1 ratio, facilitating two projects in neighborhoods of medium and high disadvantaged communities for every project approved in a low-disadvantage community neighborhood (as defined by the Metropolitan Transit Commission communities of concern index). The final ratio was 9:1, exceeding the department's goal.

Find a Paint the Town! Project

The map below includes approved Paint the Town! applicants who have already, or will be soon installing murals. Click on the location to find out more information about the mural, including the applicant, date of installation, and photos. More information can also be found on our project update/overview presentation below.

In the News

Oakland DOT's New Mural Program is Street Art—Literally | KQED

Street art deal: Oakland DOT rolls out beautification program | Hoodline

Eyes on the Street: First “Paint the Town” Mural Hits the Streets of Oakland | Streets Blog SF

Oakland's 'Paint the Town!' mural project beautifies, encourages community collaboration | KTVU

Understanding the Paint the Town! Process

After receiving over 150 responses to our Request for Community Interest, OakDOT launched Paint the Town!. OakDOT held an open application period for Paint the Town! from September to November 2017. During that time, we received 42 mural submissions and provisionally approved 30 murals. To view the application follow this link.

In addition to the initial application, applicants had to take a few more steps in order to paint a mural. OakDOT staff helped guide applicants through these processes. Applicants are responsible for:

  • Final design(s) that comply with conditions developed by City traffic engineers
  • Documentation of outreach
  • Final budget
  • Signed Waiver of Proprietary Rights for Artwork Placed on City Property
  • Signed Paint the Town Compliance Agreement.
  • Applying for and receiving a block party permit, which includes a short term encroachment permit and special events permit
  • Providing a “Paint the Town Neighborhood Advisory Notice” to each resident and business located in the affected area. (OakDOT provides a template)
  • Posting ‘No Parking’ signs along affected blocks 72 hours in advance of the street closure. (OakDOT provides signs for temporary use)

OakDOT Staff is responsible for sharing projects with public advisory committees.

  • On April 2, 2018, OakDOT staff brought all conditionally approved applications to the Public Arts Advisory Committee (PAAC).
  • On April 19, 2018, OakDOT staff brought all conditionally approved applications to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC).

Financial Support

The City of Oakland identified a private funder to provide financial support to applicants. The Oakland Fund for Public Innovation, a nonprofit foundation that engages private funders in support of city priorities, is providing 2 tiers of funding:

Tier 1

All applicants will receive liability insurance and $300 gift cards to pay for paint

Tier 2

Full funding of logistical and design support, paint and materials. Oakland Fund selected applicants based on demonstrated community support, budget, funding plans, quality of design, equity and project goals.

Next Steps

OakDOT’s Paint the Town! pilot program has a been a huge success to-date. This pilot phase is still underway, and we’re continuously learning from our experiences. We have not yet determined the next steps, but if you’d like to be notified of our future plans, and/or if you’re interested in participating in a future Paint the Town! round, please subscribe by clicking the subscribe button above.

Important Documents

For More Information Contact: