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Brighton’s rainbow crossing removed amid calls to make installation permanent

  • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

    There’s an old saying that the pain of loss is ten times the joy of acquisition. Great as it has been to have a rainbow crossing, scrubbing it off again feels kinda nasty, as though we’re being symbolically rubbed out. A comparable situation that occurred in Australia around the time of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras caused a massive outbreak of protest and civil disobedience that eventually spanned the globe, with over 57,000 followers on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DIYrainbow

    • bermeir

      You’ve got this wrong-it’s a health and safety issue. Is it a crossing or not? It would cause confusion to pedestrians and motorists. Nothing to do with homophobia.

      • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

        This argument can only mean that there should NEVER be a rainbow crossing, if it’s a safety hazard. How would people (and the council) react if a child (or anyone for that matter) was injured or killed because a motorist didn’t know they were supposed to give way to a pedestrian crossing over the rainbow?

        It would then be neither a legitimate nor reasonable argument to say, “we place the safety of pedestrians at risk only during gay festivals”. What, so only gay pedestrians get injured or killed?

  • And

    The article talks about zebra crossings but I would be more inclined to transform a pelican crossing into a rainbow crossing, as the surface of the zebra crossing, being one of its main “signature features”, instantly recognisable to motorists, is not really changeable, whereas pelican crossings are found on roads with various surface colourations – even on cobble or brick “shared space” roads.

    • TomSatsuma

      This is an excellent idea that I imagine would be welcomed by both sides!

  • Hue-Man

    I look at the pictures of the PERMANENT crossing in Vancouver at Davie and Bute and it makes me smile. The comments from last year are of the same sort. http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/07/rainbow-crosswalk-vancouver-painted/

    “What a great idea! That will be a MAJOR tourist draw as people will want to get their picture taking walking across!” (sic)

    “The kids and I look forward to walking across this crossing when we next visit your city.”

    • Steven Gregory

      That’s great and unmistakable as a stop barrier. Denver has new crosswalks at some of our busiest intersections, they’re usual white lines delineating a pedestrian path, but the space between is painted red. A news report a few years after they went in noted the results of a study: vehicles tended to stop at the white limit lines and not cross onto the red surface, as is often the case with only two white lines, and pedestrians tended to stay on the red surface, instead of crossing halfway and then veering diagonally as they often did before.

  • Hue-Man

    I look at the pictures of the PERMANENT crossing in Vancouver at Davie and Bute and it makes me smile. The comments from last year are of the same sort. http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/07/rainbow-crosswalk-vancouver-painted/

    “What a great idea! That will be a MAJOR tourist draw as people will want to get their picture taking walking across!” (sic)

    “The kids and I look forward to walking across this crossing when we next visit your city.”

  • James Orpin

    Norway is in Europe. So this was not the first

  • Steven Gregory

    So what is the big problem with the city council that they promptly responded to say a petition to make a permanent rainbow crossing would fail? Sounds like they need to be called out and made to back their words with some face time and direct address from citizens who disagree with them.

    • TomSatsuma

      I think it’s a fair enough stance – They stated that an application for a permanent crossing would fail, rainbow or not. They arequite difficult to get approved.

      Plus I agree that there has to be some standardisation – the driving theory test is very clear on what symbols and colours mean what. I’m sure most people would get that it’s a crossing but if you don’t draw the line somewhere you invite an ambiguity that could endanger road safety.

      Personally I’d like to see a rainbow crossing – but from a safety perspective I can see where they are coming from.

      • Steven Gregory

        We hear different statements. You perceive a reasonable response entailing thoughtfulness and concern for public safety. To me it is a hasty and intransigent comeback that smacks of bias.

        The article does state: “which responded PROMPTLY to say that ANY application for a permanent new crossing was likely to fail.” It seems the council spokesperson has crossed arms and refuses to consider anything else.

        • TomSatsuma

          But it’s true that any application for any permanent new crossing is likely to fail. We regularly have local community protests to put new crossings in dangerous areas because it’s so difficult to get approval for them – I imagine in this particular case it’s something the council will have already considered, since their was a temporary crossing there.

          Also – the distinctive black and white design is a sign to motorists that pedestrians have right of way – since the law around the crossings is that pedestrians step out into the road for cars to cross it is essential that there is no ambiguity about it.

          ‘And’ has a brilliant suggestion below – why not find a pre-existing pelican crossing, with traffic lights, and paint a rainbow crossing on that?

      • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

        This argument can only mean that there should NEVER be a rainbow crossing, if it’s a safety hazard. How would people (and the council) react if a child (or anyone for that matter) was injured or killed because a motorist didn’t know they were supposed to give way to a pedestrian crossing over the rainbow?

        It would then be neither a legitimate nor a reasonable argument to say, “we place the safety of pedestrians at risk only during gay festivals”. What, so only gay pedestrians get injured or killed?

        • TomSatsuma

          They often close the streets during festivals anyway – not sure of the details in this case

    • TomSatsuma

      I think it’s a fair enough stance – They stated that an application for a permanent crossing would fail, rainbow or not. They arequite difficult to get approved.

      Plus I agree that there has to be some standardisation – the driving theory test is very clear on what symbols and colours mean what. I’m sure most people would get that it’s a crossing but if you don’t draw the line somewhere you invite an ambiguity that could endanger road safety.

      Personally I’d like to see a rainbow crossing – but from a safety perspective I can see where they are coming from.

  • Philip Marks

    I believe in San Francisco all four crosswalks at the intersection of Castro & 18th are to be permanently rainbowed — it’s a tourist attraction after all. There are some fairly high costs in installation and maintenance though as compared to a basic crosswalk, and those costs are being absorbed by a civic group.

  • AdrianT

    Somewhere, the rainbow’s over….

  • bermeir

    I don’t mind rainbow colours anywhere, however, I think this rainbow crossing is very, very stupid: does a pedestrian cross there or not? It will also confuse drivers. They pulled it because they realised how ridiculously stupid it was to have such a confusing road-marking. I am amazed that they did it in the first place -first accident it caused would have no doubt brought about serious repercussions.

    Pulling it was NOT done out of homophobia; but for road safety reasons and they were right to pull it.

  • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

    This can only mean that there should NEVER be a rainbow crossing, if it’s a safety hazard. How would people (and the council) react if a child (or anyone for that matter) was injured or killed because a motorist didn’t know they were supposed to give way to a pedestrian crossing over the rainbow?

    It would then be neither a legitimate nor a reasonable argument to say, “we place the safety of pedestrians at risk only during gay festivals”. What, so only gay pedestrians get injured or killed?

    • bermeir

      Derek, all I am trying to say here is that road markings have to be standardised, that’s all. The bottom line is that no deviation from that can be allowed as it causes accidents.
      Anything that causes a ‘what the heck is that?!” response should be avoided on the road. You know if a community of say, Welsh people, wanted to paint ‘zebra’ crossings green, I would say the same thing.
      So that means no rainbow-coloured ‘zebra’ crossings. It’s called ‘zebra’ for a reason: it’s black and white lines on a road that we can all recognise.

      Nothing to do with homophobia or anti-gay people sentiment. I don’t know what you mean by gay festivals, are they conducted on the road? If so, then I guess those roads are cordoned off during the festival.
      Anyway, a rainbow-coloured ‘zebra’ crossing is obviously a potential cause of confusion on the road.

      • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

        If it is unsafe then it should not have been allowed in the first place.

        • bermeir

          You’re right; it shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place. Now they realise their error and are righting it. I find driving enough of a challenge as it is without people deliberately putting things on the road to cause me more confusion. It’s not like a rainbow flag hanging from a tree which is pretty clear; it’s (a rainbow-coloured crossing) something posing as something else (a zebra crossing) and that is confusing.

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