A rainbow crosswalk in Armstrong would be located right in the heart of the city.
The colourful, inviting, inclusive rainbow crosswalk would be placed at the Smith Drive tee intersection in front of the city’s Welcome to Armstrong caboose, according to a report from public works manager Paul Carver.
Members of the local LGBTQ2s+ community reached out to mayor and council in July to request the crosswalk addition, and staff was subsequently directed to set up a meeting with representatives of the group to research and outline costs of installing and maintaining a pride rainbow as a welcome to the City of Armstrong.
“Recognizing the long-term costs to maintain a crosswalk, the preferred option of staff is to create a sidewalk that is painted and in a high-profile location to reduce the risk of vandalism,” said Carver. “It is equally important to place the painted sidewalk in a location that is both welcoming and can be easily viewed by the public entering our community.”
Carver said staff met with Janine Carscadden and Eva Ekeroth, who spearheaded the request, to discuss the project. Both women, said Carver, were receptive to other ideas in addition to a rainbow crosswalk, such as a rainbow sidewalk or banner(s).
“While staff is receptive to installing a painted crosswalk, there are long-term maintenance concerns as a crosswalk is subject to the wear and tear of vehicular traffic, winter road conditions, winter road maintenance operations and vandalism,” said Carver. “Public works staff would be required to repaint the crosswalk regularly to keep it looking new. Currently all crosswalks are repainted annually.”
A design option and location similar to one in the District of Peachland was presented to Carscadden and Ekeroth who provided their full support.
With the increasing cost of paint, staff estimates the cost to complete the sidewalk at $2,500. The local LGBTQ2s group stated they will do some fundraising to assist with the costs.
Staff will bring forward a recommendation to the 2022 budget discussions that funds be allocated to complete the Rainbow Sidewalk Project at the regular meeting of council Tuesday, Oct. 12.