Six years after an adored predecessor was ripped up over safety concerns, Sydney's LGBT district has a new purpose-built, rainbow pedestrian crossing. The curved and coloured crossing at the Bourke Street side of Taylor Square opened to traffic on Friday after the road was lifted to the level of the footpath. "We believe this may also be the first rainbow crossing in the world that has been painted in a curving rainbow shape," Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement on Friday. "I know residents and visitors will love this colourful symbol of the city's longstanding support for our LGBTIQ community." The local council and Roads and Maritime Services worked in partnership to build the new crossing after the sudden demise of its predecessor. Painted in 2013 across the busier Oxford Street to mark the 35th anniversary of Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, that crossing lasted just two months before the roads minister ordered it be scrapped in the interests of road safety. "The behaviour we have seen recorded by CCTV cameras, including people sitting and laying on the crossing, has set off alarm bells at the high risk of injuries and fatalities," then-Roads Minister Duncan Gay said at the time. The new rainbow crossing also prioritises walkers over drivers, with a green light for vehicles only activated on demand. But the reconstructive works haven't ensured the crossing's permanency. An independent safety review due in six months will determine the landmark's future.
Australian Associated Press