Federal Highway Agency Asks Lexington to Remove Rainbow Crosswalk

Nov 16, 2017

An official with the federal government wants the mayor of Lexington to remove a rainbow-colored crosswalk, saying the agency is concerned that the crossing is a safety hazard.

Lexington installed the crosswalk art in June to coincide with the annual LGBT pride festival.

Thomas Nelson, Kentucky division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, sent a letter to Mayor Jim Gray this week, saying the crosswalk can distract drivers.

Josh Mers, Chairman of Lexington Fairness, says he would be interested in knowing statistics about the intersection from the Division of Police.

Mers asks, “Has there been an increase in accidents? Has there been an increase in calls or complaints related to that intersection at Short and Limestone?  I think you would find that there have not been.”

Mers points out that similar rainbow crosswalks are in at least 10 other cities, including Atlanta, Orlando, Philadelphia and Houston.

The mayor’s office has not yet offered a response to the request from the federal highway agency.