Fundraising Goal Reached For Rainbow Crosswalk in San Antonio

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A rainbow crosswalk is drawn in chalk at the corner of Main and Evergreen Streets.

Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report

A rainbow crosswalk was drawn in chalk at the corner of Main and Evergreen streets in July 2017 in support of the permanent rainbow crosswalk that will be installed in June 2018.

A prominent intersection in San Antonio's LGBTQIA district will feature four rainbow crosswalks, thanks to private fundraising efforts, just in time for the city's annual pride parade in June.

In June 2017, City Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) requested the pride themed crosswalks at the intersection of North Main Avenue and West Evergreen Street. City Council's Governance Committee approved a pilot program for the project in August 2017.

"The addition of this crosswalk will affirm San Antonio is a place of acceptance and equality," Treviño stated in his request. "The crosswalk will provide pedestrian safety while promoting a message of inclusion and tolerance."

Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) designed the Fiesta medals sold to raise funds for a pride crosswalk in San Antonio's LGBTQ strip.

Courtesy / Councilman Roberto Treviño

Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) designed the Fiesta medals sold to raise funds for a pride crosswalk in San Antonio's LGBTQ strip.

The crosswalks at the intersection passed their "functional service life" and need to be replaced, according to a report on the project produced by the City's Transportation and Capital Improvements (TCI) department earlier this month. The City will provide $12,668 for standard white line replacements – less than the projected $20,000.

Individuals, area business owners, and Treviño collectively raised $19,832 for the additional cost of the colored paint needed to complete the rainbow. At least $10,000 of the privately raised funds came from selling custom Fiesta medals designed to resemble the crosswalk, Treviño told the Rivard Report on Tuesday.

Originally slated to cost $68,000, the project total is now $32,501. "It's my guess [that TCI] did not have a well-defined scope [last year]," Treviño said of the change.

The project will be completed by June 23, he said. The Pride "Bigger Than" Texas Festival and Parade will take place on Saturday, June 30.

"We're happy it's going to happen before the parade," hesaid.

Several LGBTQIA-owned businesses, including dance clubs, bars, and restaurants, are located on or near North Main Avenue, known as "The Strip." The pride parade travels south on Main Street and will pass over the brightly-colored intersection.

"It will be exciting to have something emblematic of our community that we march across," said Chris Forbrich, chairman of the San Antonio Stonewall Democrats. "It's exciting for us to be in the community, to be seen by the people of San Antonio and of south Texas."

He said that for a long time, places like The Strip were the only safe spaces for LGBTQIA people to congregate in San Antonio. While communities worldwide continue to strive for civil rights of people regardless of their sexual orientation, he added, the crosswalk will remind everyone of the inclusive atmosphere found on The Strip.

Not everyone voiced support for the project when it was proposed one year ago. Councilman Greg Brockhouse (D6) criticized the initiative in August 2017 saying the proposition should have gone before a full City Council vote. He added that no tax payer dollars should go towards adding the colors, and that other groups should have the same opportunity to design a crosswalk. He used the example of allowing Veteran's organizations to print emblems of military service.

Brockhouse did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

The item did not require a full Council vote because public funds were already set aside for routine maintenance, City officials said at the time.

Paul Berry, chief communications officer for TCI, told the Rivard Report Tuesday afternoon that a six month study would be conducted after installation to evaluate driver and pedestrian engagement with the crosswalk.

7 thoughts on “Fundraising Goal Reached For Rainbow Crosswalk in San Antonio

  1. San Antonio government, business community, and citizens should do more to try to build recognition of the city as a welcoming one for the LGBTQIA community. I am in Montreal this week, and it is amazing to observe what a large section of town known as the Gay Village is like. It is filled with restaurants, bars, shops, theaters, etc., that are patronized by people from across the city and tourists mixed together with members of the local LGBTQIA community. It’s an economic engine for a large neighborhood and one of the top entertainment areas in the city. A large proportion of the estimated 290,000 citizens at the Montreal Pride Parade last year were not persons identifying as LGBTQIA, but citizens just out to join the celebration for the fun of it and to support their fellow citizens (much like San Antonio citizens turn out for the MLK March). Imagine San Antonio developing a reputation for being accepting, having increased tourism and accompanying entertainment venues because of it, and having the local Pride Parade be attended by tens of thousands of people enjoying the celebration.

  2. “The addition of this crosswalk will affirm San Antonio is a place of acceptance and equality,” Treviño stated in his request. “The crosswalk will provide pedestrian safety while promoting a message of inclusion and tolerance.”

    Does that mean the Confederate Memorial can be returned? If it can be found, of course.

    • Right. Because the Confederate statue promotes “a message of inclusion and tolerance.”
      One of these things promotes an act of treason against the United States in order to preserve the right to own other people that were considered subhuman. Another of these things celebrates a highly marginalized group that has been heavily discriminated against and provides a welcoming space. One is “inclusive and tolerant,” the other is not. Apples and oranges.

      • No, because the Confederate statue was in memorial of those who died on the Southern side of the Civil War. This doesn’t speak of the politics around the Civil War but the lives lost. You speak of inclusion and tolerance except those who you believe shouldn’t be tolerated or included? Interesting.

  3. Why doens’t someone ask Mayor Transparency what happened to the Travis park statue? He will not even answer when questioned what happened to the beloved HemisFair entrance arch distroyed! How transparent! The Excuse’News will not as-Why? But the paper only writes about Dreamers ir Illegals anymore.

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