SDOT Street Painting Class, 1/31/2009

Date February 11, 2009


Sponsored by SDOT

Jan. 31, 2008


Erik Higbee:, community organizer behind street painting at 49th and Burke discussed: 1. Process of involving community; 2. Process of designing paintint; 3. How to implement (paint) the design

Jane Rebelowski:, SDOT civil engineer specialists discussed SDOT’s regulations, scope of assistance, and time frames

Brian Dougherty: discussed other funding

Jennifer Britton: discussed Dept of Neighborhood funding

There is no “one” way to build community, but Erik Higbee recommended Placemaking Guide Book by City Repair (Portland). He said it is about the process more than the end product.

May need to start with other activities, such as tree planting, block parties, to initiate getting neighbors together.

Usually there is a core group of people that gets things done.

  1. Neighborhood Flier. Jane Rebeleowshi can provide the map of what neighbors need to be contacted for a particular intersection. When fliering, knock on doors and talk to people, get e-mail addresses. Include everyone, even if they don’t have an e-mail address or are opposed to the idea.
  2. Neighborhood Design Charette: brainstorm ideas, create a “to scale” drawing of the intersection, have pens and markers for children and adults to draw out their ideas encouraging simple designs, straight lines, outline edges, solid bright colors. One person suggested using a stencil of street art for a simple pattern. Another suggested sponge painting. Have all of the drawings on a wall and give people three dots to vote for their favorites. (Someone with design/ graphic art skills can than develop it further into a final form.)
  3. First SDOT Review: small sketch of design (it does not have to be the final form); they are reviewing it for cultural sensitivity and ensuring it does not extend to sidewalk, etc. takes about 1 week
  4. SDOT puts the Petition Together for Neighborhood: Officially we need 60% approval with all 4 houses immediately at intersection approving; Jane believes they will be upping the approval necessary to at least 75% – 80%. In Wallingford they had 90% approval. Contact every single person. Need approval of home occupant, ie renter versus owner. Schools count as one vote. For apartment complexes, the manager or owner can count as one vote, or poll every resident. They are in process on how to count condo complexes. Keep the “no” people involved with the process.
  5. SDOT Permit: If all of the concerns that SDOT raised after first review are addressed and there is adequate approval of neighbors, it costs $103 and takes about 10 days to get the permit.
  6. Planning Date: Jane will determine if there are any projects for street repair in the area. Alternate routes need to be determined for police and fire. The city will close the street Saturday AM, but they only have one set of barricades for this use. If they are already reserved, we could rent barricades from National Barricade company for about $70, they deliver the barricades. Typically the neighbors will clean/ powerwash the street on Saturday, paint Sunday morning, and the street will be open by Sunday evening.

Notes regarding Neighborhood Approval:

Keep all naysayers involved with the process.

Reasons people were opposed in Wallingford: one person was afraid that it would draw more people into the neighborhood to hang out at the intersection; concern for property values; opposed to the “funky” aspect


  1. It cannot be offensive to any particular group of people
  2. Cannot extend up on curb, gutter or sidewalk
  3. There is so much interest in painting around a traffic circle, SDOT is considering this; currently this is not officially approved.
  4. Cannot have fluorescent, reflectors, or glass beads in paint
  5. It cannot look like an official sign, ie no STOP signs painted, and no crosswalks painted.


  1. Rodda Pain has approved paint for the streets and provide a 25% discount for these projects: waterbased, very fast drying, and have been formulated for road striping; coverage depends on age and type of street material: concrete coverage is about 80 sq feet per gallon; new asphalt is 150 sq feet / gallon; old asphalt will absorb more; Colors: white, orange, green, red, blue, yellow

Erik said the ladybug took 40 gallons, and cost about $800 to paint

  1. Person with graphic skills has placed a grid template over the design; after street has been powerwashed, use chalk to lay out grid pattern on intersection so scale is uniform; use chalk to transfer design from paper to street, spray paint borders of each area and label the color
  2. Delegate committees: ie 1. those involved with street closing; 2. those involved with getting paint and all supplies; 3. those involved with staging the paint and supplies – on a big tarp by side of road; 4. those who will actually paint, 5. those who will oversee the painting; 6. those involved with food. Wallingford had about 30 people involved
  3. Design suggestions: Simple, Bold, solid bright colors, outline the borders


Dept. of Neighborhoods:

1. Small Sparks Grants: $300; will get a DON project manager; can be acquired any time

2. Small and Simple Neighborhood Matching Grants: $15,000 offered quarterly; matching funds can be done in labor, materials, professional contribution


$1,000 available for improving walking routes to public elementary schools; I believe this is money that “reimburses” expenditures, versus money you get up front. This also funds “walking school buses”


The street painting needs to be repainted every year. There is no funding source available for “maintenance”. Also, need to get another $103 permit from SDOT. Erik said that they had enough paint left over to repaint it the second year, but had to do fundraising for repainting it the 3rd year.

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