Coquitlam city council to hear proposal for rainbow and trans crosswalks

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      Today (September 11), Coquitlam councillors will hear a request to add a bit of colour to the city.

      Nicola Spurling, a resident and board member of the Tri-Cities Pride Society, is on the agenda to present the idea of bringing a rainbow crosswalk to Coquitlam.

      “The Tri-Cities don't have a reputation for being queer friendly, but that's not the case,” reads a petition she started last month. “A symbol like this will show marginalized people that diversity is accepted and wanted in Coquitlam. To make that message abundantly clear, it's important that these symbols be placed in visible and high-traffic areas.”

      On that page there’s a photograph of Vancouver’s rainbow sidewalks, which the city painted at the intersection of Davie and Bute streets in July 2013.

      In addition to rainbow stripes that represent gay pride, Spurling is also asking Coquitlam to paint a sidewalk blue, pink, and white, in a show of support for people who identify as transgender.

      “Whitehorse became the first city in Canada to install a trans crosswalk, and Coquitlam has the chance to create a legacy by installing the first in British Columbia,” her petition page reads.

      It’s expected that at least some Coquitlam city councillors will respond favourably to the idea. According to the Vancouver Sun, Spurling previously mentioned it to Mayor Richard Stewart and he replied, “I’m in.”

      The Sun’s report however includes some concerns for costs and whether giving one group an intersection could be construed as unfair to other groups that might want recognition in some similar form.

      “Council is very fair-minded, very equity-minded, but if we do along with this, I think we would have to therefore then open the door to any other group that asks for a special display of some sort,” councillor Terry O’Neill said quoted there.

      If council does respond favourably, it will likely ask staff to study costs and options for implementation and report back in the near future.

      Spurling has proposed four possible locations for the painted crosswalks: Pinetree Way and Guilford Way, Pinetree Way and Glenn Drive, Pinetree Way and Lincoln Avenue, and Marmont Street and Brunette Avenue.

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