Northern Rockies Regional Municipality

Rainbow Crosswalk "Opening" Friday (weather permitting)

Fort Nelson will see a splash of colour next to the Northern Rockies Regional Recreation Centre this coming Friday. At the April 25th council meeting, Regional Council requested a report on inclusivity options, which led to a report specific to rainbow crosswalks as an option to acknowledge the LGBTQ2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, two-spirited) community.

Council supported the rainbow crosswalk as a symbol of diversity and inclusion, and one that will hopefully spark meaningful conversations about the current reality of discrimination based on sexuality, gender or race faced by members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Just in time to commemorate Pride Month, several members of council will be on hand at the crosswalk location this Friday, June 28 at 1:00pm (weather permitting) to celebrate the installation. Please feel free to join them as they mark this “step on the crosswalk” to an accepting community that welcomes diversity in all its forms.

Background

How was the location chosen?

After reviewing a map of the potential rainbow crosswalk locations, the walk from the recreation centre to the east parking area was chosen for its high pedestrian traffic and enhanced lighting that includes flashers.

What is the cost?

The cost of installation of one rainbow crosswalk is approximately $2,500 using low-durability paint (which requires annual reapplication) including materials and labour.  High durability cold plastic (the crosswalk paint typically used by the municipality which requires reapplication every three or more years) would cost $6,500 to install and requires extensive lead time for ordering. Regional Council resolved to have the crosswalk installed as soon as possible using the available low-durability paint.

Are rainbow crosswalks safe?

Many local governments across BC and Canada have installed rainbow crosswalks. While the Transportation Association of Canada has identified the need to research non-standard crosswalk colours and markings and expects to be able to provide guidance by 2021, other jurisdictions have undertaken their own reviews.  For example, Edmonton, Alberta performed their own pilot study which found that non-standard “crosswalks did not decrease pedestrian safety and had a positive influence on motorist behaviour.”

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