Merritt council rejects students’ rainbow crosswalk idea, lawyers offer space

Thompson-area city not the first to reject a rainbow crosswalk in a B.C. community

Although the Merritt city council rejected a group of school students proposal for a rainbow crosswalk, the students are instead getting the green light for an entire rainbow parking lot, owned by a Vancouver lawyer.

In a city council decision on the crosswalk, Merritt Mayor Neil Menard said he rejected the proposal because it could “open kind of a Pandora’s box,” for other groups – including the local Legion – to request a crosswalk of their own.

School District 58 backed the students’ proposal, intended to support its LGBTQ youth, and were set to handle the costs for the rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Chapman Street and Coldwater Avenue.

In the end, Merritt council voted 4-3 against the proposal.

Coun. Diana Norgaard commended the students for stepping forward “bravely,” and said she voted in favour for the crosswalk even if the city had to pay for it.

Other councillors voiced concern over the extra maintenance required for maintaining the coloured paint in a city hit with drive-through traffic and inclement weather.

Vancouver lawyers offer their own parking lots

Since the city’s decision, two Vancouver lawyers have stepped up to offer the students a portion of privately-owned property in Merritt.

Acumen Law’s Kyla Lee and Paul Doroshenko took to social media, saying that they each own a parking lot in Merritt’s downtown core – side-by-side – and are more-than happy to let the students use the space.

“I’ll even donate to the cost of paint,” Lee said.

Merritt not first city to reject inclusive crosswalk concept

Rainbow crosswalks have been welcomed by dozens of municipalities across B.C., but others have not been as accepting of the idea.

Port Alberni’s council voted no until a community member mounted a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the crosswalk.

The City of Chilliwack created a bylaw to nix “decorated crosswalks” of any kind, after receiving separate requests within the same week for a rainbow crosswalk to be installed downtown and a pro-life crosswalk depicting “painted crosses or infant feet.”

In Fort Langley, it took a year-long campaign by a group of local artists to fund a crosswalk, only to be damaged with black tire marks within a week of being installed.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Kwalikum Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Nanoose Bay Catspan receives BC SPCA funding

Spay/neuter grant to address overpopulation

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

Most Read