Milwaukee’s New Paint the Paveway Program Is Bringing Art to the Streets

The Department of Public Works introduced a program to bring some color and creativity to communities across the city.

Milwaukee’s Department of Public Works recently announced a new project to beautify communities across the city. Paint the Paveway is a program that gives Milwaukee’s artists and creatives an opportunity to turn city streets, sidewalks and crosswalks into a canvas for their art. 

According to a recent study by Bloomberg Philanthropies, community asphalt art can result in both an increase in safety as well as significant behavioral changes from both pedestrians and drivers. 

The study found a 50% decrease in the rate of crashes involving pedestrians, 27% increase in frequency of drivers immediately yielding to pedestrians with the right of way, 38% decrease in pedestrians crossing against the walk signal and several other significant statistics. 



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This isn’t the city’s first foray into street art. Milwaukee artists have already made an impact on roadways in neighborhoods across the city. The East Side Association led Cathedral Square’s famous piano key crosswalk. Latinas United through the Arts (LUNA) co-founder Whitney Salgado designed the mural, Floración, on the intersection of West Washington Street and South 9th. Artists Working in Education, Inc. (A.W.E.) partnered with MPS to create this colorful mural on the intersection of S. 30th St. and W. Scott St. 

To book your strip of sidewalk or cross section, you have to fill out a Paint The Pavement Permit Application or Special Event Permit through the Department of Public Works. There are certain requirements for both the location and art. The pavement must be in good condition, the street cannot have more than two motor vehicle travel lanes and the artwork cannot contain text, numerals, symbols or overt messaging. For a full list of requirements, and to apply for a street mural, visit The Department of Public Works website