West Hollywood's rainbow-colored crosswalks to stay
Two rainbow-colored crosswalks in West Hollywood, initially painted in June in celebration of Pride Month, will become permanent fixtures in one of the nation’s most iconic gay neighborhoods.
In June, the brick crosswalks at Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards were coated with temporary rainbow colors that now show skid marks and are fading. Last week, the West Hollywood City Council approved new, skid-resistant thermoplastic pavement markings and new asphalt for the crosswalks. The city has estimated the installation will cost $67,364 and will take no more than five days to complete.
Despite some public objection to the cost of the installation, city council members praised the rainbow-colored crosswalks, saying they were important in branding the city as a gay destination.
“The rainbow flags on Santa Monica Boulevard and now the rainbow crosswalks are really critical to … the tourists, the young gay and lesbian people, the not-so-young gay and lesbian people who are passing through from Iowa or Montana or Kansas and they cannot believe that they actually see a municipality where the rainbow colors are displayed all year long,” Councilman John Duran said during last week’s council meeting.
“It tells them that it is a sanctuary; it tells them that there is a safe place in America where the [lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual] community is celebrated,” Duran said.
Councilman John D’Amico suggested the city create a specific Twitter hashtag to brand the crosswalks. The city, he said, would likely see thousands of tags each year for #rainbowcrosswalk or #wehorainbow.
-- Hailey Branson in West Hollywood
Photo: Participants ride motorcycles down Santa Monica Boulevard during the L.A. Pride Parade in West Hollywood in June. Two rainbow-colored crosswalks painted for the event will remain permant fixtures in the neighborhood. Credit: Christina House / For the Los Angeles Times