A floral display along southbound Highway 101 in Novato, between Rowland
Boulevard and Highway 37 is part of a pilot program by Caltrans.
pressdemocrat.com photo by James Fremgen

A reader writes: What’s the deal with the roadside flower mosaics? Who maintains them, what are they for and can anyone get one? JL

The answer: Eleven such flower mosaics are in the state — nine in Southern California and two in the Bay Area, with the nearest one along southbound Highway 101 in Novato, between Rowland Boulevard and Highway 37, according to Caltrans. The other Bay Area mosaic is in Campbell.

All 11 are sponsored by Toyota, which had to agree maintain at least three acres of existing highway landscaping or non-landscaped areas, and are part of Caltrans’ Enhanced Landscape Planting Demonstration Project. In recognition, Toyota is allowed a small sign along the highway with its name, nothing else.

The Novato flower mosaic, which is 30 feet by 60 feet, shows a car on a road, naturally.

The landscape program is modeled after Caltrans’ Adopt-a-Highway Program, where groups sign up to pick up litter along stretches of highways. Under the landscape program, the sponsor’s maintenance of the surrounding landscape includes trash pickup.

The pilot program started in spring 2008 and is due to expire next spring.

For more information, CLICK HERE to read Caltrans’ guides to the program.

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