One rainbow winks out but another will come out to shine

Friday, 15 September 2017

A pedestrian crossing painted rainbow in Nimbin earlier this week will be repainted white today by Lismore City Council following several near misses between cars and pedestrians.

Lismore City Council General Manager Gary Murphy said that Roads and Maritime Services does not allow rainbow pedestrian crossings and as such Council is obligated to return the crossing to white.

Mr Murphy said Council will soon be consulting with the local community about a rainbow structure in the Lismore CBD following a Council resolution in November 2016.

The resolution states that Council will ‘investigate the feasibility of creating a rainbow pedestrian crossing or other structure or image for the Lismore CBD to operate as a tourist attraction and celebration of our diversity and cultural heritage’.

Mr Murphy said Council is completing designs and costings for several options and Council will gain any necessary approvals from Roads and Maritime Services before consulting widely with the community about a preferred option.

Options are likely to include segments of footpath or prominent structures within the CBD being painted rainbow.

“We appreciate the sentiment we are seeing in the community, and that the Nimbin crossing is a reflection of strong community expression,” Mr Murphy.

“We don’t want to stifle freedom of expression, but unfortunately as Council there are rules we must follow. We are unable to leave the rainbow crossing as it currently stands as it poses a risk to pedestrians within the village, and we can’t compromise on safety. A similar crossing at Oxford Street in Sydney in 2013 was found to be dangerous, with people stopping for photos and subsequently causing a high risk of accidents.

“While we are committed to creating a rainbow structure within the Lismore CBD, we must first ensure we have the proper approvals in place before we can begin our community consultation. Keeping people safe and adhering to Australian standards has to be at the forefront of our minds.”

Community consultation on a possible rainbow structure in the Lismore CBD is likely to commence in October.

Image: Lismore City Council will repaint a rainbow crossing in Nimbin white this afternoon.

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