Lack of rainbow crosswalks in Moncton upsets an LGBTQ advocacy group
For the second year in a row the City of Moncton says there will be no rainbow crosswalks in Moncton’s downtown and it’s frustrating members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s disappointing. It’s almost a little annoying. They are standing true to what their arguments were last year as much as we don’t agree with those arguments,” said Charles MacDougall, a member of Moncton’s River of Pride LGBTQ+ advocacy group.
Moncton had rainbow crosswalks in 2016 and 2017, but after the provincial Department of Transportation sent a letter to municipalities the city reverted back to white last year. The letter recommended that municipalities follow standards set by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), which calls for crosswalks to be white.
City of Moncton spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc said in an email to Global News, “we are waiting for TAC to make their recommendation.”
She said the city is still awaiting a safety study to be completed by the association clarifying whether or not decorative sidewalks are safe.
But Erica Andersen, Director of Member Services and Communications with TAC stated in an email that there isn’t enough data on the matter and that recommendation for a further study may take place this fall.
Anderson said “the Traffic Operations and Management Standing Committee is expected to propose a new project to complete research into the safety impacts of decorative crosswalks”, including whether or not the colours pose a distraction for drivers and pedestrians.
MacDougall said frustration is growing among the LGBTQ+ community over how long it will take for the study to be completed.
He cannot understand why the City of Moncton is not moving forward with installing rainbow crosswalks the way so many other municipalities have in recent years.
“It is happening in big cities such as Toronto, Calgary and Ottawa and it’s even happening in smaller communities,” said MacDougall.
LeBlanc said the will place rainbow banners in the downtown to show support for the community.
“Rainbow banners were produced last year to line-up along Main Street. That initiative is continuing this year and likely for the next few as well,” she said.
It’s a move that McDougall appreciates and supports, but he said rather than being a safety risk, rainbow crossings could save a life.
“There are still so many people in our community who are afraid and live a lot of homophobia and trans-phobia.”
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