September 20, 2017: The City of Oakland is moving forward with a pilot program after all! They will be selecting 30 sites in the coming months to kick off the Paint the Town program. This is exciting news as it will bring color and community out into our streets.
We are thankful that we had an opportunity to share our ideas (listed below) with OakDOT staff in person, and we're especially pleased that our proposed name for the program was selected as the winning name!
Our original post is below.
Let's Paint the Town safer.
As part of Oakland's new transportation strategic plan, one of the top priorities is to “Integrate art and playfulness into Oakland’s infrastructure.” As we've recently learned, the Great Streets Division is responsible for following up and developing a formal program
This priority fits right in with our Play Oakland belief that playful places build better bonds—among kids, neighbors, and communities—and those relationships are the foundation for thriving neighborhoods. It also fits in with our safe streets plan to improve pedestrian safety, particularly around schools.
Painted intersections and playful crosswalks are fun, attractive, and achieve multiple goals. Not only are they a traffic calming intervention, but when completed in collaboration with residents they can also increase neighborhood pride and strengthen community stewardship.
A few community-driven painted streets have popped up around town over the years, but now that art + play + infrastructure is an explicit priority, we're hoping to see a lot more in the near future.
A Head Start
Oakland also knows how to run a community stewardship program! Our City's award-winning Adopt-A-Spot program empowers citizens to plant gardens in street medians, maintain storm drains and beautify litter containers and utility boxes with mosaics and murals. OakDOT can learn from this program, and build on its success.