The City of Oakland’s Flex Streets Program provides streamlined permitting options for outdoor spaces to help Oakland businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Below please find information on how to obtain a permit for your business to utilize a sidewalk, parking space, traffic lane, private outdoor space or City-owned property.
March 2021: Map of existing Flex Streets locations
Download a flyer on the Flex Street Initiative in English, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Renewal of Permits
Approved Flex Street permits will auto-renew.
There’s no need for approved applicants to get new copies of their permits, and no need to resubmit applications.
Use the Sidewalks or Parking Lane
Use a Traffic Lane
Based on feedback from meetings with business owners and community leaders, our engineers are developing a roster of potential street closures that represent what our engineers feel may be suitable to maintain transit access, traffic flow and emergency response.
If you represent a group of businesses and are interested in closing a street for outdoor dining or retail, please complete the Flex Streets Initiative Street Closure interest form.
Learn the steps required to apply for use of vehicle travel lanes to meet Alameda County's Social Distancing Requirements.
For qualifying Equity Areas, equipment (barriers, signs, cones, etc.) to close a street may be available free-of-charge for the duration of the closure. Complete the Street Closure interest form to learn more.
Use a Private Parking Lot or Other Private Outdoor Areas
The City of Oakland is exploring how to provide opportunities for economic revitalization and community engagement through creative and flexible uses of privately-owned parking lots and other open outdoor areas. The initiative provides opportunities to streamline permitting requirements to provide additional space for Oakland businesses to operate as allowed by modifications to Alameda County's Shelter-in-Place order.
Learn more on this Planning & Building web page.
Vend from a Food Truck, Trailer or Pushcart
As part of the Flex Streets Program’s efforts to support businesses to operate safely and to provide the public with additional opportunities to consume food while physically distancing from others during the Covid-19 Emergency, the Special Activity Permits Division is now accepting mobile food vending permit applications from food trucks, trailers and sidewalk vendors.
Learn more on the City’s mobile food vending web page.
Use City-owned Outdoor Property
The City of Oakland is making available unutilized City-owned outdoor properties to retail businesses and restaurants which are unable to operate in the public right of way or on private property as provided under the FlexStreets program.
Learn more on this Real Estate web page.
For planning resources and guidelines, please visit the Business Re-opening web page.