Public Works FAQ

Who can I call or email about questions I have?

When does street sweeping return?

Starting Monday, June 15, 2020, the City will resume its normal residential street cleaning schedule. Downtown and commercial street cleaning schedules were not interrupted during the COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place orders. 

If you are registered for residential street cleaning email alerts, you will begin to get regular email alerts in advance of your scheduled street cleaning. We had paused the email alerts during the health orders. 

Why is caution tape on some walk signal buttons? Crosswalks - No-touch Intersection

Adding another layer of safety to getting outside, our Public Works Department has made it possible for pedestrians to lessen the need to press the push button at 28 intersections around town. This is in addition to the 24 locations in downtown San Mateo with this feature. When you see caution tape across the ‘walk’ buttons there is no need to push the button to get the walk signal. When the light goes green, the walk symbol will automatically light up, allowing pedestrians to cross the intersection safely.

Drivers may experience longer wait times at these intersections due to the extended walk symbol. We thank our neighbors for their continued patience and cooperation in helping everyone do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

What is the Safe Streets San Mateo initiative? Safe Streets - A-Frames - Neighborhoods

In early April, the City launched its Safe Streets San Mateo educational campaign across its social media channels to remind all to share the road when outside during the COVID-19 health orders. The initiative intends to remind our residents to use our roads and bike paths safely during the ongoing shelter-in-place orders.

Meanwhile, staff consulted with neighborhood leadership in areas identified to benefit from a Safe Streets road segment and implemented traffic calming signage in Bay Meadows, North Central and Central neighborhoods by mid-May. 

Also in May, the City added 28 new intersection locations where the walk signal turned on automatically, reducing the need to press the ‘walk’ button. This is helping to stop the virus spread in our communities. 

In advance of the Memorial Day weekend, staff implemented safety signs on the Bay Trail within the city limits to remind those recreating to slow down, keep 6’ of distance from strangers, and wear masks when near others. 

Which construction projects are allowed to be active?

The County of San Mateo has issued a revised health order that allows for all construction activities to proceed with safety protocols identified for small and large construction projects. 

Do I still have to move my car if ‘no parking’ signs have been placed on my street?

Yes please. We place ’no parking’ signs 72-hour before construction begins in a work zone. Note the date construction starts on the ‘no parking’ sign and please be sure to move your car by that date.

Can I get an encroachment permit?

Yes. Encroachment permits will be issued for all projects in the public right of way. Please complete the Encroachment Permit Application below, including the permit computation worksheet, and return it to us by email.

Your application email needs to include:

  • Your insurance certificate
  • San Mateo Business License
  • Completed application form
  • For Sewer Laterals: In the email subject line, include: Sewer Lateral Repair (SLR), your company name, and the address of the Sewer Lateral  example, “SLR [ABC Plumbing] [123 A Street]”
  • For all other Encroachment Permits:  In the email subject line, include:  Type of Work. Example, “Driveway Replacement [ABC Construction] [123 A Street]”

Email your completed package directly to Our staff will contact you to process your payment by phone. 

Questions? Call Judy Dulik at (650) 522-7336 or

Unable to submit applications electronically? Please contact Judy for assistance. We highly encourage online applications. Appointments for permit submittal are limited and may take more time to process.

Can I go to City Hall to apply for a permit?

At this time, we are asking that people utilize online application process as it is more efficient and safer for all. In some situations, appointments will be available, but very limited due to social distancing requirements for staff and visitors. 

How will I know if a construction project is in my neighborhood?

Projects like the 25th Grade Separation Project and The Clean Water Program have email update lists that you can join. Click on the links for each to sign up.

We will be continuing to notify residents of upcoming work in their neighborhoods via postcards, door hangers, and through the project email lists. These notices will include contact information for residents who have questions or concerns.