Yakima could soon have some colorful themed crosswalks in the city. On Tuesday the Yakima city council approved a program using Seattle’s Community Crosswalks program as a guide or example. The city has been working with the Yakima Arts Commission to create guidelines to paint crosswalks. The program allows special painted crosswalks as a way to represent specific neighborhoods. Program officials say the crosswalks can be seen as showcases of a community culture or history or just as a way to brighten up a spot in the community.  Program city officials say if groups decide to paint a specific crosswalk they'll have to provide funding for the painting and they'll have to maintain the design. The program is open to nonprofit and other groups in the community.
The city has spelled out rules for the program. The groups can't create a new crosswalk the painting must happen in an area where a crosswalk exists. The groups will have to apply for right-of-way permit to do the painting so city officials can review plans.

The program in Seattle of which the Yakima officials are using an example started in 2015. Some African-culture inspired makeovers of crosswalks started happening in the city but they were not authorized. So the city of Seattle created the program to reflect the history of local neighborhoods, calling it the "Community Crosswalk Program."
Now the program has been extended to the city of Yakima.
City officials say "the Public Works Department will have the authority to determine materials and location.  Designs would be limited to artwork and markings that do not include words, letters, logos or text and could not advertise or promote a private entity (corporation, neighborhood business, chamber of commerce or other community organization)."

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