The Gayborhood is about to get a little more colorful, thanks to Philly Pride Presents and the City of Philadelphia.

This summer, the city will paint permanent rainbow-colored crosswalks at two intersections — 12th and Locust and 13th and Locust streets.

The crosswalks, eight in total, will be painted shortly after Pride and dedicated at the July 5 Annual Reminders Block Party, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first group LGBT-rights demonstrations in the nation.

Philadelphia will join the ranks of other major cities like San Francisco and Toronto that have installed rainbow crosswalks.

While each city’s rainbow crosswalks vary in design, Philly’s new crosswalks will most resemble Toronto’s, with six colors spanning the street horizontally from sidewalk to sidewalk.

Philly Pride Presents executive director Franny Price thanked the city and the Streets and Public Property departments for bringing the idea to fruition.

“We know that other cities have installed rainbow crosswalks, and we have been trying to do the same in Philadelphia for a long time,” Price said. “It will add a little bounce to our steps as we walk the streets in the Gayborhood.”

Philly Pride Presents senior advisor Chuck Volz said the crosswalks will be “a significant, permanent improvement to the Gayborhood. They’re going to be beautiful.”

When talks began about two years ago, Philly Pride Presents was to be responsible for covering installation costs, which the city initially estimated at $26,000.

“It just was too expensive for us to accomplish,” Volz said.

As the conversation progressed, Philly Pride worked with city officials like John Herzins, deputy commissioner of the Department of Public Property, and recently Nellie Fitzpatrick, director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, to find a way to make the project a reality.

“We eventually came to the solution that the city would cover the costs of installing the crosswalks, and we would be responsible for the maintenance,” said Volz. “It is not going to cost Philly Pride anything to install the crosswalks.”

The initial estimate was reevaluated, and the actual installation cost was found to be significantly less expensive, Volz noted.

A figure for the yearly maintenance was not available as of presstime.

From our media partner PGN


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