New Brunswick

Rainbow crosswalk coming to Fredericton in time for Pride festival

The rainbow, a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, will be painted on Queen Street in front of city hall sometime before Fredericton's Pride Week Festival starts on Aug. 13.

Cost of $1,200 rainbow crosswalk paid for by pride committee

From left to right: L.A. Henry, president of the Fredericton Pride Committee, and parade organizer, Barb MacMullin. (Lauren Bird/CBC)

The City of Fredericton has found a way to accommodate safety concerns in order to paint a rainbow crosswalk in the downtown in time for the annual Pride Week Festival.

The rainbow, a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, will be painted on Queen Street in front of city hall before the festival starts on Aug. 13.

City staff expressed concerns that replacing the regular crosswalk with the rainbow one could confuse pedestrians and drivers, so the city decided to have both, said Coun. Henri Mallet, who chairs the transportation committee that voted unanimously to go ahead with the idea. 

"The paint is going to be right beside the crosswalk and for safety reasons staff recommended that we keep the crosswalk," said Mallet. "But at the same time, we want to show support to that group."

Concerns over cost, other groups

The committee also considered other concerns, including the cost of painting the rainbow, which will be $1,200, and what would happen if other groups wanted to have similar presentations around the city. 

A rainbow crosswalk in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. (Ramona Jennex/Twitter)

"In the future, if there are others who ask for similar projects we'll take a look at it and then we'll probably come up with a policy to address those issues," Mallet said. 

But the president of the Fredericton Pride Committee for 2017, L.A. Henry, said that's exactly what the city should want.

'In the future, if there are others who ask for similar projects we'll take a look at it and then we'll probably come up with a policy to address those issues.' - City councillor Henri Mallet

The city should be excited to celebrate Indigenous art or art by people of colour "and make that part of the public spaces," she said.

The cost of the rainbow will be paid for by the Pride committee, which received a $2,000 grant from the city for the festival.

The city will also consider repainting the rainbow crosswalk annually.

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