Penticton council has approved a plan that would see a rainbow crosswalk installed in the city’s downtown core.
In support of the 2SLGTBQIA+ community, Downtown Penticton Business Improvement Association (DPBIA) president Brett Turner stood before council on July 5 requesting approval for the installation of the crosswalk at the intersection of Front Street and Lakeshore Drive East.
The DPBIA teamed up with Travel Penticton and the South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Society to provide $4,000 for the project, less than half of what the public works department estimated the crosswalk to cost.
Turner, along with Len Robson from the city, justified the total price tag by explaining to council that thermoplastic will be used for installation instead of paint, a product that will make the crosswalk last 10 to 15 times longer than it otherwise would.
“Paint would be gone a couple of months after (installation) and then completely destroyed after winter,” Robson said. “Then, we’d have to go back and maintain it again.”
The crosswalk will be installed by city staff, Robson added.
“I think this is going to be a wonderful addition to the entrance of colourful Front Street,” Coun. Katie Robinson said. “Now, we’ll have a colourful sidewalk, so I can’t think of a better place to have it.”
Council received one letter of opposition in response to the project, arguing that roads should only be marked for drivers and not for political statements.
It’s a statement that Counc. James Miller couldn’t disagree more with.
“My answer to that is if this crosswalk said, ‘Vote for James Miller,’ then that would indeed be a political statement,” he said. “But a rainbow crosswalk, I consider as a statement of love, tolerance, acceptance and the further’s thing from a political statement.”