After making a splash with its rainbow crosswalk paint job in 2015, Philadelphia’s 12th and Locust Street intersection is getting a refresh. The new design, which debuted on March 31, Transgender Visibility Day, is more vibrant than the original, and includes a slew of rainbow stripes across the entire sidewalk. “It’s a more vivid and evocative symbol of Philly Pride,” says Tami Sortman, president of the Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus, who led the initial project.
Decorative Crossing has strong connections to Philadelphia’s LGBT community, but the color scheme is also meant to celebrate diversity in general and the military in particular. “This is a place that is all about inclusion,” Sortman says. “We want to show people that they are welcome here.”
Colors of Unity: The Art and Significance of Rainbow Crossing Design
In London, England, a rainbow pedestrian crossing has been installed in Herne Hill at two locations outside the Brockwell Park entrance. The rainbow crossing is a symbol of Lambeth Borough’s commitment to inclusivity and solidarity with the local LGBT+ community.
But the colourful crossings are not without their critics. The Access Association, a UK-based group that promotes inclusive design, warned against the installation of the crosses, noting that they are less safe for disabled people, older adults and children. They can also exacerbate hallucinatory conditions such as psychosis, the group said in letters sent to government ministers. In addition, the rainbow-coloured markings are likely to confuse motorists and cause confusion for other governments that may use similar markings.