Moncton councillor wants city to reconsider decision to hold off on rainbow crosswalks

Click to play video: 'Debate over rainbow crosswalks in Moncton set to continue'
Debate over rainbow crosswalks in Moncton set to continue
The debate over rainbow crosswalks is set to continue in Moncton. Two weeks after the city ruled out painting the colourful crosswalks this year, one councilor is asking for the file to be revisited. Callum Smith has more – Jun 18, 2019

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.

Shawn Crossman, the councillor for Ward 1, says he hopes that councillors give rainbow crosswalks the go-ahead at the July council meeting. Callum Smith / Global News

READ MORE: Lack of rainbow crosswalks in Moncton upsets an LGBTQ advocacy group

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.

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“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.

Duncan MacDonnell, a visitor from Vancouver Island, says Moncton shouldn’t wait for the TAC report, but should look at all other cities across Canada that have implemented rainbow crosswalks. Callum Smith / Global News

“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.”

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“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.

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