Four crosswalks at an intersection in a predominantly gay Atlanta neighborhood were just adorned with “permanent” rainbow colors — not painted, but via thermoplastic tiles — which cost taxpayers $196,000, WXIA-TV reported.
The tiles are supposed to last 10 years before maintenance is needed, and the price tag is 0.3 of 1 percent of the city’s transportation budget, the station said. But WXIA still asked those footing the bill if spending nearly $200K to add rainbow colors to four crosswalks in what’s considered the heart of Atlanta’s gay community was a good idea.
“I say that money should be spent in schools,” one man told the station.
“This is stuff that could be spent on educating young people instead of trying to make the city look pretty,” he said. “Let the young people make the city look pretty, maybe because they’re artists and let the taxpayer money go to educating said young people.”
One man told WXIA “it’s very important to spend the money in this community. It shows pride. It’s what it’s all about. This is where it kind of started and it’s money well spent.”
“I support it. I think they’re beautiful, and they’re a work of art,” a woman told the station. When she was asked if the cost bothered her, she replied, “Doesn’t bug me.”
Another man seemed disturbed by the cost, telling WXIA, “I don’t see how it could cost that much money. I could see where the money could have went to better use paving some of these holes in these roads.”
The station said at least eight other U.S. cities — including Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle — also have installed “permanent” rainbow crosswalks.
However, another American city — Key West — installed permanent rainbow crosswalks using preformed thermoplastic color blocks at one intersection in 2015 at a cost of $4,000, the Miami Herald reported. But it should be noted that the Key West intersection looks much smaller than the Atlanta intersection, the Key West color blocks alternated with white stripes that apparently were painted — and it isn’t clear if Key West’s thermoplastic blocks are in some way different that the ones used in Atlanta.
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The Key West Business Guild paid for half of the cost of the crosswalks while individual donations covered the other half, the Herald reported, citing the Florida Keys Keynoter.
Things were somewhat similar in Atlanta in 2015 as the community around the intersection at 10th and Piedmont raised money to paint the intersection, WXIA noted. But on the one-year anniversary of the Pulse night massacre, the city announced the colors would permanent, the station said.
(H/T: Truth Revolt)