SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo City will soon be getting its first "artistic crosswalk," right in the center of the LGBTQ community.
On Wednesday, the city of San Antonio’s governance committee gave the OK to install a rainbow-themed crosswalk on Main Street and Evergreen.
Rosie Gonzalez, who supports the rainbow crosswalk, said she was at the intersection for the creation of the chalk-colored crosswalk and is thrilled the city is moving forward with a permanent installation.
"I think it will add one more jewel to our city," Gonzalez said. "One more thing to brag about."
District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino issued a council consideration request in June for the permanent installation of the rainbow crosswalk. Both Atlanta and Houston have added rainbow-themed crosswalks in their communities this year.
"We feel good about this process that this is coming to the heart of our city and the heart of our LGBTQ community," Trevino said. "We think this is the right message to send at the right time."
After the crosswalk is installed in late November or early December, there will be a six month pilot study that will look at maintenance costs and if there are any pedestrian accidents.
All the data gathered from that six-month study will be presented to the transportation committee and from there it will go to the full council.
"The city engineer who follows national and state codes for street work and for crosswalks didn't feel it was appropriate in his professional assessment," deputy city manager Peter Zanoni. "We feel there's a lot of evidence that they are OK and we feel a pilot program is warranted."
Funding will come from two sources: $20,000 from the city's general fund, which is what would have gone to upgrade the crosswalks in the area anyway, and $48,000 from private fundraising.
Rosie Gonzalez said raising that money will not be a problem.
"The community itself will want to be a part of it," Gonzalez said. "And, say, 'Hey, I contributed $5. I contributed $10. I contributed $1,000. I contributed $5,000 and just say this is our crosswalk. This is our community's crosswalk.'"
District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse released the following statement after Wednesday’s vote:
The City Council Governance Committee met today and approved a ‘pilot program’ to install painted Pride Crosswalks on Main Avenue. The fact that half the Councilmembers, only those assigned to Governance, made the decision to spend tax dollars supporting this project is a bad precedent to set for future partnerships on City governance when decisions like this are made without full Council participation. I want to reiterate my position on creative crosswalk projects, such as the Pride Crosswalk. We have so many more pressing issues in our City than painting crosswalks. We need to get to fix the basics now. Instead of painting crosswalks we should be building crosswalks for schools, hiring more police officers and fixing our crumbling infrastructure. There should be a process that is open and accessible to every group or organization. Standards should be in place for design, application, installation and maintenance. But above all, no tax dollars should be used for the crosswalk project. It should also be open to any group meeting criteria established by the Council. If the VFW wants to paint service emblems on a crosswalk to their facilities, they should have the same right.
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