CITY CENTRE — Surrey has its first rainbow crosswalk, and just in time for Surrey Pride celebrations later this month.
Mayor Linda Hepner said the $8,500 crosswalk, at Old Yale Road and University Drive near Holland Park, was finished last Thursday.
She says it was her idea.
“On my way to my TransLink meetings I see this crosswalk in New Westminster and I thought, you know what? I actually like the way it looks and the message it delivered around inclusivity. It was frankly my idea,” she told the Now-Leader earlier this month.
“It delivers a message I think we as a city we should de delivering, and that is of inclusivity,” Hepner added. “When you look at 102 languages spoken here in our city, that rainbow sidewalk has gone way beyond just being an original LGBTQ sidewalk and it represents now a message of inclusiveness and I think in a city that as diverse as ours, that that is a critical message.”
The crosswalk is complete in time for the Surrey Pride Festival, set for June 30 at Holland Park.
“It also ties very nicely into our Fusion Festival messaging, as well,” the mayor added, “with people from all places on the planet.”
City officials say a regular “zebra” crosswalk costs $2,000 and has a three- to five-year lifespan, while the rainbow crosswalk will cost $8,500 and should last for five years.
Rainbow crosswalks in other B.C. communities have been vandalized recently, with tire tracks being burned over them. Earlier this month, Courtenay’s rainbow crosswalk was left with tire marks just one day after its installation.
Other cities to see similar damage include Fort Langley and Campbell River.
If anyone has that idea for Surrey’s, Hepner had this message: “I have no patience. I hope that doesn’t happen here.”