EDITORIAL: Rainbow crosswalk response goes off course

It’s disappointing to read the city staff report that will go before council Monday

It’s difficult to know if some people were actually listening to Travis Irmen when he made a pitch for a rainbow crosswalk.

Irmen had requested an eight-coloured crosswalk at 31st Street and 30th Avenue. The thought was that main street is extremely high-profile and that would go a long way towards promoting the concept of inclusivity for all residents, not just LGBTQ.

And there appeared to be strong support from most of council for his plan.

So it’s disappointing to read the city staff report that will go before council Monday. Instead of main street, staff is recommending rainbow markings be placed on the pedestrian pathway between 32nd and 31st avenues.

“This is within the downtown core and is a high-profile location,” states the report.

Unfortunately that isn’t the case as the walkway is generally only used by those accessing the transit terminal or the public washrooms there. It is out of the way and not visible.

A primary motive for the staff recommendation is a crosswalk on 30th Avenue may lead to vehicular vandalism. Now one has to wonder if other communities have had a specific problem with cars burning rubber on rainbow crosswalks? One could make the argument that the walkway promoted by staff could also be prone to vandalism. So why even bother with colours there?

It appears city hall is taking a fairly basic issue, which has become the norm in many other communities, and  added unnecessary complexities.

Hopefully council members display some common sense Monday.