Controversial rainbow sidewalk painted in Richmond
Richmond installed its first permanent rainbow crosswalk on Saturday, July 20. (City of Richmond/Twitter)
A contentious rainbow crosswalk was painted in Richmond over the weekend, after council voted almost unanimously in favour of the installation last month.
The permanent crosswalk – the first of its kind in the city – was painted at a busy intersection on Minoru Boulevard near the Richmond Public Library and City Hall late Saturday night.
The vote for the crosswalk passed almost unanimously at a June 24 meeting, with only Coun. Chak Au against the project.
"I think it's important that we engage the public in making a decision like this," he said during the council meeting.
However, before Au spoke and the vote was taken, around 30 members of the public shared their thoughts with council. Most of them were against the crosswalk.
"Can someone paint a big Buddha on the crosswalk? Can someone paint a big cross? Can a Muslim paint Allah on the crosswalk? So if every group comes and ask you, would you entertain them," asked one Richmond resident early in the meeting who said she has been a part of the community for 40 years.
"I am asking you to stay neutral in this matter. Otherwise there will be … chaos when all the interest groups come to council."
For Coun. Kelly Greene, who voted in favour of the installation, the proposed crosswalk sends an important message.
"I'm happy that we are bringing this important symbol of LGBTQ+ inclusion to Richmond," she said on Twitter.
The crosswalk was expected to cost $15,000 to install.