Safety trumps the message of inclusion



It is obvious to me with the various Pride events supported by our community and July 13’s rally at the Five Corners intersection that we are an inclusive community.

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Both the Town of Gibsons and the District of Sechelt acknowledge this diversity and acceptance of the LGBT members of the community by painting rainbow crosswalks.

Inclusivity of our community is not the question. The surface chosen to demonstrate inclusivity is.

Crosswalks have a purpose. They signal to drivers to watch for pedestrians crossing our streets. To provide for maximum safety they need to be as visible as possible day and night.

The Manual of Standard Traffic Signs and Pavement Markings from the Ministry of Transportation and Highways states crosswalks are white and that zebra markings (these are the lines that have been painted rainbow) are more visible to drivers. Crosswalks with just the parallel lines painted white are only to be used for those that are fully signalled or stop sign controlled.

Neither the Five Corners intersection in Gibsons, nor the crosswalk on Cowrie street in Sechelt with the zebra stripes painted rainbow are “fully” controlled.

Rainbow colours reduce visibility. Vehicles that approach the Five Corners crosswalk from Lower Gibsons have added reduction in visibility if they are turning the corner to continue up to the highway, making it all the more important to have the crosswalk maximally visible.

Let’s consider first the safety of everyone who walks in our communities and crosses our streets. There are many other surfaces we could choose to paint rainbow to show our inclusivity. 

Diane Hill, Roberts Creek

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