A pedestrian crosswalk in Sydney that was painted with the colors of the rainbow in honor of the city’s recent Mardi Gras’ celebration is being removed on April 10, despite pleas to make it a city landmark.
Located at Taylor Square on Oxford Street, Sydney’s main gayborhood, the prismatic path was painted in February in honor of Mardi Gras’ 35th anniversary. The annual procession began in the 1970s as a demonstration against growing anti-gay violence but has evolved into the biggest LGBT celebration in the world.
It cost almost $68,000 to paint, and tearing it up and replacing it with a drab crosswalk will cost another $31,000.
New South Wales roads minister Duncan Gay said the decision was made to change the path back because of the “high risk of injuries and fatalities at this crossing, with more than 15 incidents in a month.” Apparently people were too busy getting their photos taken on the rainbow roadway that they didn’t notice oncoming traffic. But no actual accidents were reported, though, and a similar rainbow crossing in West Hollywood has become a permanent fixture with no negative consequences.
“It’s a very powerful symbol to say Sydney is an inclusive city,” said Sydney’s lord mayor Clover Moore. “I’m incredibly disappointed that we’re going to have to spend $30,000 removing something that is a beautiful piece of public art and is very good for the local economy of the area.”
If we can’t have a rainbow crosswalk, can we at least get a yellow-brick road?