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The Trump administration told a city to remove its Pride rainbow crossings. The city had something else in mind

Patrick Kelleher October 1, 2019
Rainbow crosswalk

Locals in the city of Ames, Iowa, are delighted with their new Pride crossings – but the federal government isn’t.

The Trump administration told the town that they must remove the rainbow crosswalks, which are painted in different colours to represent different members of the LGBT+ community.

The Iowa city’s response? They’ve decided to say no.

Pride crosswalks don’t comply with federal rules.

The city was told in a letter last month from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that their Pride-themed crosswalks were in violation of federal rules, CNN reports.

The letter further said that they must remove the crosswalks as they fail to comply with traffic control standards. Federal rules dictate that crosswalks must only use white paint.

“Crosswalk art has a potential to compromise pedestrian and motorist safety by interfering with, detracting from, or obscuring official traffic control devices,” the letter said.

“The art can also encourage road users, especially bicycles and pedestrians, to directly participate in the design, loiter in the street, or give reason to not vacate the street in an expedient or predictable manner.

Crosswalk art has a potential to compromise pedestrian and motorist safety by interfering with, detracting from, or obscuring official traffic control devices.

“It also creates confusion for motorists, pedestrians, and other jurisdictions who may see these markings and install similar crosswalk treatments in their cities.

“Allowing a non-compliant pavement marking to remain in place presents a liability concern for the City of Ames in the event of a pedestrian/vehicle or vehicle/vehicle collision.”

Ames city attorney says the federal government does not have jurisdiction over the road.

However, the FHWA’s claims may not be entirely correct. Ames city attorney Mark O Lambert sent a memo to the mayor saying that he believes the federal body does not have control over the roads where their Pride crosswalks are based.

He also said that they were unlikely to face monetary penalties for keeping the Pride crossings in place.

The Ames City Council discussed the issue at a meeting last week and decided on their plan of action: they would do nothing.

Council member Chris nelson asked at the meeting if they need to do anything, the Ames Tribune reported.

“Can we just accept the letter and say thank you?”

It appears that that is exactly what they are going to do.

More: Ames, Iowa, lgbt crosswalk, Pride, rainbow crosswalk

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