A Moncton city councillor is asking his colleagues to review a decision about rainbow crosswalks within the municipality.
“These are going to add additional awareness to anyone travelling down Main Street or in the area of downtown Moncton,” says Shawn Crossman, the councillor for Ward 1.
He says the city should reverse its initial decision, to wait until a Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) report, and proceed with rainbow crosswalks in the downtown.
Isabelle LeBlanc, a city spokesperson, said two weeks ago the city was continuing to wait on a TAC recommendation to determine if rainbow crosswalks are in fact safe, but results of that study aren’t expected until 2021.
“City staff keep coming back with the liability issue; what happens if somebody gets injured or hit in that crosswalk?” he asked. “I’ve done a lot of research on this. I’ve reached out to insurance companies, and they’re telling me that basically if somebody is within a crosswalk, a visible crosswalk, and gets struck by a vehicle, the vehicle is responsible for that pedestrian getting struck.”
He says TAC guidelines indicate there needs to be white lines from curb to curb, but within those lines is out of their realm of guidelines.
Crossman says the councillors need to follow suit of their neighbours in Riverview and Dieppe, and get them painted.
“I think that shows that Moncton’s not very inclusive quite honestly,” he says.
The city is expected to again fly rainbow banners along Main St. for a second consecutive year.
In 2016 and 2017, it painted rainbow crosswalks, Crossman says.
People we spoke to on Main Street seemed to mostly be in favour of rainbow crosswalks.
“I would say there’s plenty of precedent for it, there’s plenty of opportunity here for Moncton to move forward and don’t wait for a piece of paper to do the right thing,” says Duncan MacDonnell, a Vancouver Island resident visiting Moncton.
“I think they’re great, nothing wrong with them, they’re not too distracting or anything like that at all,” says Lauren MacCallum. “There’s nothing wrong with them.”
“I can see how it’s good for the community and stuff, because of course we have to be aware of this kind of stuff, but at the same time, some people may feel it’s kind of pushing it up on others and that’s kind of where the line’s drawn.”
Crossman’s push for rainbow crosswalks will be debated July 15.