Federal government says rainbow crosswalks could be unsafe

Eleven rainbow crosswalks in total were installed in Capitol Hill before pride week in 2015 – costing $66,000. (KIRO7.com)
Caption
Eleven rainbow crosswalks in total were installed in Capitol Hill before pride week in 2015 – costing $66,000. (KIRO7.com)

Credit: KIRO7.com

Credit: KIRO7.com

Rainbow crosswalks could be unsafe, according to the Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation.

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The multicolored Crosswalks have existed in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood for several years and were also painted in Ames, Iowa, in September of this year.

But about a week after a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held, The New York Times reports the Iowa city received a letter from the government saying the intersection was a safety concern.

In its letter to Ames, the FHA made a "request" that the crosswalks be removed.

The New York Times reports the highway administration said that crosswalk art "diminishes the contrast between the white lines and the pavement, potentially decreasing the effectiveness of the crosswalk markings and the safety of pedestrian traffic."

However, according to the Times, the Ames City Council voted unanimously to ignore the letter.

On Monday, KIRO-TV confirmed that the Seattle Department of Transportation also received a letter, in 2015, from the government about rainbow crosswalks.

"(The letter) informed us that in the future, if we applied for federal funding at an intersection with a multicolored crosswalk they would ask us to remove the markings and replace them with a standard crosswalk marking," Ethan Bergeson, of SDOT, told KIRO-TV.

Bergeson went on to say that so far, none of the 41 artistic crosswalks in Seattle have been affected.

Eleven rainbow crosswalks were installed in Capitol Hill before Pride week in 2015 – costing $66,000.