New Glasgow introduces first rainbow crosswalks
The town of New Glasgow has now joined other Maritime communities in painting a rainbow crosswalk in the downtown area.
It's an idea that was at first rejected by their chief of police in nearby Stellarton, N.S., who claimed they may cause confusion and that they went against national standards.
But New Glasgow police say their crosswalk would not have been approved if it wasn't at a parking lot.
“This particular design was only approved to go to the entrance of a commercial parking lot area,” said Const. Ken MacDonald of the New Glasgow Police Service. “It was not approved to go across a road, street or highway simply due to the fact that that does not follow the guidelines.”
But the crosswalks have come as a welcome sight to many in the community.
“This is a fabulous opportunity for the town to show its true colours, with no pun intended,” said LGBTQ activist Gerard Veldhoven. “But this is a fabulous way of showing support.”
The 12-metre long rainbow crosswalk was requested in June by New Glasgow's UNESCO Race Relations and Anti-Discrimination Committee.
“We always want to be viewed as being very, very open, very sincere, very welcoming and engaging, and that's just who we are,” said committee chairman Henderson Paris.
An official with Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation says the province does not have the authority to force municipalities to follow the national guidelines and that all they can do is advise.
It’s up to each municipal unit's traffic authority if the guidelines will be met.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.