AG 1081: Intersection Painting

Last updated 1/2022 

Intersection murals are a great way to bring community together and showcase the work of local artists and residents. If you are interested in adding a mural on a non-arterial street or at a non-signalized intersection in your neighborhood, this guide will walk you through the steps for how to apply for a free permit for your project. If you are interested in requesting a specially painted crosswalk, check out SDOT's Community Crosswalk program!   

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Step 1: Talk with your community  
Step 2: Develop the Design  
Step 3: Draw Your Site Plan  
Step 4: Ready to Apply?   
Step 5: Application Review & Decision   
Step 6: Permit Issuance and Inspection 
Step 7: Permit Renewal and Maintenance  


Step 1: Talk with your community  

Talk with your community and find local artists who want to work with you. Look for local funding opportunities and work with your community to put together a design for your street mural. 

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Step 2: Develop the Design  

When developing your design, consider the following:  

  • Community support for the design is a must!  
  • Designs for the mural should enhance the streetscape, typically using a limited palette of colors and simple graphic images works well.  
  • If your project will use or create original artwork, the artist responsible for each design will need to sign a Visual Artists Rights Act Waiver (this document will be provided to you by us during the permit review process).
  •  Images appearing to advertise or promote a private entity (corporation, neighborhood business, chamber of commerce, or other community organization) will not be accepted.  
  • Words are not allowed except for neighborhood identification or information to name the organization and/or artist.   
  • Images that create a driver distraction or could be confused with traffic signs will not be accepted.  

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Step 3: Draw Your Site Plan  

Check out our street closure plan template for intersections here! If you are proposing a mural that's not at an intersection, you can make your own site plan using our basic template here. 

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Step 4: Ready to Apply?   

When you are ready to apply, head to the Seattle Services Portal! Note: if you've never used the Portal before, you'll need to register and set up an account first. See this helpful article or video on how to do this.   

Once you are logged in, follow the steps below:   

  • Under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use"    
  • Navigate to and select the "Long Term Use" and "Private Structures" record type.     
  • When prompted to input "Use Code Description," choose "Public Amenity."   

Required documents:   

At submittal:  

  • Street closure plan - intersection (template available here)  
  • Proposed design concept 

Prior to permit approval:   

  • Historic/Landmark District Certificate of Approval (if in an historic district)  
  • Visual Artists Rights Act Waiver signed by the artist for each piece of original art (document will be provided to applicant by SDOT during the permit review process).  

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Step 5: Application Review & Decision   

You can check the status of your permit online through the Seattle Service Portal. We will review the application and may contact you either to request additional information or to request corrections.  After our staff review is complete, we will either approve, approve with modifications, or (in rare cases) deny your application.   

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Step 6: Permit Issuance and Inspection 

Once your permit is issued, it will be uploaded to the Seattle Services Portal. You should review the permit and approved documents.   

Then you are ready to get out and install! Enjoy your beautified public space and share pictures of the project with us at @SeattleDOT on Twitter.   

Once you install, an inspector will go out and confirm the street mural meets your approved permit and plan.   

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Step 7: Permit Renewal and Maintenance  

Intersection painting are free, long-term, annually renewable permits. Many communities like to maintain their murals over time, refreshing the paint every few years as it fades. If you want to refresh your intersection painting - either with the same design or something new - you can request corrections to your current permit through the Seattle Services Portal!  

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