A rainbow pedestrian crossing is likely to be approved for Oxford Street in Sydney.
The proposal came from Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who wishes to mark the 35th anniversary of Mardi Gras.
The rainbow crossing is expected to cover the Taylor Square and Whitlam Square area of Oxford Street. City of Sydney Council has reserved the fund of $75,000 for the development.
In a statement, Moore detailed his joy for the project. He said the crossing is “a new opportunity to further acknowledge and promote Oxford St’s GLBT character and its significance to the GLBT community”.
The inspiration for the rainbow crossing came from a temporary rainbow pedestrian crossing placed in the City of West Hollywood during Gay Pride Month. The crossing spanned over San Vincente and San Monica Boulevards.
City of Sydney Council will still need to obtain permission for the Taylor/Whitlam Square project from RMS (Road and Maritime Services). Once a risk assessment and safety procedures have been evaluated, RMS hope to lay down the rainbow crossing in a trail run before installing it permanently.
Christine Forster, Liberal City of Sydney Councillor, argued the project would invite essential business and tourism to the Oxford Street area.
She told the Sydney Star Observer: “If we can spruce Oxford St up that will be great for local business – it’s an area that needs revitalisation. People often say that Oxford St looks dull – there are a lot of boarded up shops, and that really doesn’t make it look like a thriving business area.”
She also added that “Whitlam Square and Taylor Square is ideal – it’s the entry point to that central part of the gay community. A lot of visitors come to Oxford St to get a feel for gay and lesbian Sydney, and having these crossings will help identify that area as the community’s heart.”
If given permission, the rainbow crossing will be painted before Mardi Gras in February.