The City of Vernon is being accused of trying to hide inclusivity.
Travis Irmen has asked for an eight-colour crosswalk at 31st Street and 30th Avenue, but city staff are recommending to council Monday that rainbow markings be placed on the pedestrian pathway between 32nd and 31st avenues.
“I’m stuck with a proposal that isn’t even close to what I was proposing,” said Irmen.
Irmen is afraid that if the rainbow colours aren’t in a high profile location on 30th Avenue, the message of compassion and inclusivity will be lost.
“It’s supposed to be for the community,” he said, adding that he also opposes a suggestion that rainbow crosswalks should be at schools because the issue goes beyond young people.
“There is a degree of education that needs to happen downtown first.”
The staff report to council insists the pathway between 32nd and 31st avenues, by the transit exchange, is suitable for the rainbow colours.
“This is within the downtown core and is a high-profile location,” states the report.
“It has the benefit of being used only by pedestrians and cyclists so with a break in the paint where the lane crosses, it is less likely to become a target for vehicular vandalism.”
Irmen questions if vehicles burning rubber would be much of a problem on 30th Avenue if a rainbow crosswalk is there.
“I talked to Kelowna and they haven’t had a problem with vandalism.”
A business has offered to supply and install the rainbow markings on the path using outdoor tennis court surface material.
If a crosswalk was installed at another location, it could cost $7,0000, along with a contribution from the business.
Mayor Akbal Mund won’t speculate on how council may handle the staff recommendation on the path Monday.
“It’s a recommendation and there will be lots of discussions at council,” he said.
“We will make a decision and move forward from there.”