Coldstream is showing its pride with plans for the North Okanagan’s first rainbow crosswalk at a local hot spot.
The colourful crossing is slated to be painted at the Kal Beach crosswalk (on Kalamalka Road) in the spring of 2017.
The decision, made at a committee meeting Monday, is a victory for 18-year-old Aasha Sanders, who asked Coldstream to re-consider an earlier request for a rainbow crosswalk.
“I like that it’s public and if tourists come to town they can see right away that we’re an inclusive community,” said Sanders, who is supported by a number of friends, family and neighbours in the request.
In fact, a Go Fund Me account has already raised $425 towards the initiative and more is being raised. Sanders would like to contribute the funds to the district to help cover the increased costs. The crosswalk could cost between $5,000 and $7,000 using thermoplastic – a top-end solution which is the most expensive but lasts three to five years, depending on traffic volumes.
The rainbow crosswalk will be a first for the North Okanagan, although a request is being made to the City of Vernon to do the same.
While all of council agreed to the plan, not everyone was on board initially.
“I think there are better alternatives for communicating inclusiveness than using road surfaces,” said Coun. Doug Dirk, who originally opposed the idea. “I’m not in favour of putting the crosswalk on the road surface.”
It was also debated whether a rainbow ramp be painted up the walkway between Kalamalka Road and the beach parking lot, rather than a rainbow crosswalk. A rainbow retaining wall at the location was also suggested.
“We’re not going to have the same wear and tear as on the road surface,” said Coun. Peter McClean, whose suggestions failed.
“Although we might have to deal with tagging.”
Sanders also wasn’t a fan of those options.
“I don’t think it would be the same because I think it would be vandalized easier than a road surface.”
A final decision will be made by council, but the time line was agreed upon in order to avoid the upcoming season of winter snowplows and gravel deteriorating the surface.