Strong support for rainbow crosswalk in downtown Vernon

Downtown Vernon Association executive director backs crosswalk at 31st Street and 30th Avenue

A rainbow crosswalk has an enthusiastic endorsement from a downtown Vernon advocate.

Lara Konkin, Downtown Vernon Association executive director, backs the bid from resident Travis Irmen for an eight-colour crosswalk at 31st Street and 30th Avenue.

“I love it. I’ve wanted one for three years,” sid Konkin.

“It shows we are a welcoming an accepting community. It symbolizes inclusivity for everyone.”

Konkin says there have been experiences in other communities, such as Kelowna, where rainbow crosswalks are an attraction, and the goal of the DVA is to bring people downtown.

“They draw people downtown. It makes them feel safe.”

Konkin also believes rainbow crosswalks serve as public art.

While six-coloured rainbow crosswalks are closely associated with the LGBTQ community,  Irmen says eight-panel crosswalks go back to the early roots of the symbol and they encourage inclusivity beyond sexual orientation.

“It would be good to enrich downtown with this kind of culture,” said Irmen.

The eight colours are:

Pink — sexuality

Red — respect for all life

Orange — healing journeys

Yellow — sunshine

Green — The environment

Turquoise — arts and culture

Blue — peace

Violet — spirituality

Mayor Akbal Mund has questioned who will pay for the rainbow crosswalk, but Konkin says the answer is fairly simple.

“It’s something the city should do. It’s a city-based project,” she said.

“That said, we do set aside funding and it’s something the DVA would consider assisting with. This will go a long way towards showing how the city supports the community. It means inclusivity for everybody.”

Vernon council is expected to discuss Irmen’s request Oct. 24.