San Francisco will be following in the footsteps, or crosswalks, if you will, of West Hollywood.
The city’s Castro District will be showing off their LGBT pride by painting four crosswalks rainbow colors.
Executive director of the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefits District, Andrea Aiello, said the design “emanated from the community” and “there’s a feeling it represents the LGBT community and the important role it has played in this neighborhood.”
While gay neighborhoods are changing as the gay community is starting to feel safe enough to live outside of strictly gay neighborhood, the LGBT people are still a big part of San Francisco.
“This neighborhood certainly had a much stronger LGBT identity in the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s, but it’s still an important place in the culture,” Aiello said. “LGBT people still think, ‘The Castro, that’s where I can go and feel safe.’”
Aiello hopes the crosswalks will make a statement and showing gay tourists from less-gay friendly places, they are welcome and safe.
The crosswalks are part of a bigger change in Castro. Crosswalk extensions, wider sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, new trees and bike racks will all be added to “try and make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists as well as “grab drivers’ attentions and get them to slow down,” Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for the San Francisco Department of Public Works said.
The project begins Thursday and Gordon said most of it should be done by Gay Pride in June.