Crosswalks and Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood are loud and proud–thanks to a new paint job, intended for Seattle Gay Pride Week.
Capitol Hill, a neighborhood that’s been the historic heart of gay culture in Seattle, had the new sidewalks installed recently–but here’s the catch: they cost thousands of dollars a piece, in city funds.
Overall, there are 11 new rainbow colored sidewalks–costing just over $100,000, which is far more expensive than regular crosswalks.
But worse, these crosswalks (because of their multi-colored paint job) are only expected to last about 3 years before they’ll need repainting, adding to the expense. The city, at this point, plans to maintain them–the rainbow colors are supposed to be permanent.
Seattle has a long history of being a gay-friendly city, but the crosswalks are one of the most visible symbols they’ve attempted–coming on the back of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hughes case, which legalized gay marriage nationwide. It follows after the White House, which President Obama ordered lit up in rainbow lights on the night of the decision.
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was around for the unveiling of one of the crosswalks. He was beaming with pride, announcing that the garish new crosswalk “says something about Seattle,” and the history of the neighborhood that it’s in.
The crosswalks were installed after local groups campaign for the last few years. They’re being paid by taxes levied on new private developers in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Overall, the state of Washington has stepped up the visibility of Gay Pride Month. Apparently, a number of events are being held all month across the state–and the new crosswalks were Seattle’s attempt to do something, well, flamboyant.
Seattle Pride Week begins Tuesday.