Port Moody to get a rainbow crosswalk, somewhere

Port Moody is getting a rainbow crosswalk.

Where it will be located is still to be decided.

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On Tuesday, council approved a request made in July by the community group Creating LGBT+ Community in Port Moody for a rainbow crosswalk as a symbol of gay pride and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. But councillors directed staff to investigate other, more high-profile locations than the one proposed on Murray Street between Brewers Row and Rocky Point Park.

“It’s nice to see something fun come across our agenda,” Coun. Diana Dilworth said. “I think the crosswalk that is being requested really represents Port Moody as a fun, welcoming and inclusive community.”

But she suggested the project isn’t ambitious enough, adding, “I’d like to see something bigger. I think it’s nice to recognize our fun and frivolity outside of Brewers Row.”

Dilworth said a number of crosswalks around the civic complex or at a busy intersection like Guildford Way and Ioco Road might achieve that.

That’s encouraging to Amy Anne Lubik, who made the original pitch to council for the crosswalk. 

“It’s so nice they potentially want more than one crosswalk,” Lubik said. “I think the biggest thing for us is to have it in a place that’s very visible.”

While Mayor Mike Clay supported the crosswalk, he said the city needs to think outside the lines.

“I wish we had a better idea,” Clay said. “Once everybody has a crosswalk, they’re not fun anymore. It’s like getting the same tattoo as everybody else to show how unique you are.”

Since the first rainbow crosswalk in Canada was painted in 2013 at the corner of Davie and Bute streets in Vancouver, similar crosswalks have been installed in various cities around British Columbia, including New Westminster, Victoria, Kelowna, Squamish and Maple Ridge.

And this week, a request came before Coquitlam council for a rainbow crosswalk in the city centre area.

Clay also said he has seen proposals for such crosswalks divide some communities rather than bring them together.

But Lubik said people have to get past the idea that rainbow crosswalks are just for the LGBTQ community. “It’s for everybody,” she said. “It’s for people from all different walks of life to feel included.”

Lubik, who works in health sciences, said there have been scientific studies that show people in general feel happier around rainbow crosswalks and they quickly become places where the community meets and gathers.

She said she would like to see Port Moody’s rainbow crosswalk in place by next spring.

“It would be wonderful if the community could have some sort of grand crosswalk opening.”

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