City Hall Discussion Continues on Rainbow Crosswalks

Jun 23, 2017

Credit Stu Johnson

Lexington’s new rainbow-striped crosswalks continue to be a topic of conversation at City Hall.  

Mayor Jim Gray opened Thursday night’s meeting with comments about the four downtown crossings.

The mayor says he’s received many positive comments about the crosswalks and how they reflect the city’s inclusiveness as a welcoming community. 

Gray says it’s important also to listen to dissenting points of view.  So he says more information will be forthcoming.

“I’ve asked Commissioner Hoskins-Squier, Dowell, to do some bench marking with other cities on the process for public art in the roadways and to report back to the council,” said Gray.

The crosswalks were installed this week at the intersection of Limestone and Short Streets ahead of the city’s Pride Festival. 

Gray offered his remarks at the beginning of last night’s council meeting.  Council Member Susan Lamb said the colorful crosswalks promote increased pedestrian safety.  “This rainbow crosswalk is a statement that our city accepts all, no matter what color, sex, gender, or beliefs and we welcome and strive to live with compassion in Lexington,” Lamb said.

Lamb says she’s eager to see more crosswalks with eye/catching art and designs. 

Council Member Bill Farmer asked Gray how the crosswalk art came about.  “So this, because it was in the roadway, was not a state organized thing or something the urban county review board would look at?  How did this come to be?, asked Farmer.

“We saw the opportunity to do it and we did it,” responded Gray.

The crosswalk art cost $13,500 with local government contributing $8500 and the Bluegrass Community Foundation participating with $5000.  The rainbow crossings will be a permanent fixture at the corner of Limestone and Short Streets.