This option for creating a rainbow crosswalk in front of Kwalikum Secondary School was approved by council at its Feb. 4 meeting. — From Qualicum Beach Council agenda

This option for creating a rainbow crosswalk in front of Kwalikum Secondary School was approved by council at its Feb. 4 meeting. — From Qualicum Beach Council agenda

Rainbow crosswalk approved in Qualicum Beach

Staff estimate cost at $8,500

Qualicum Beach town council approved the painting of a rainbow crosswalk on Village Way in front of Kwalikum Secondary School during its Feb. 4 meeting.

Coun. Teunis Westbroek was the only dissenter.

Council had previously directed staff to come back with recommendations on creating a Pride crosswalk in the town, with Coun. Robert Filmer noting that the rainbow symbol would not only be a representation of support for the LGBTQ community, but also an anti-bullying and harassment symbol.

At that time, Westbroek said he agreed that all people needed to feel safe in the community. But he said he had heard of at least one other B.C. community where, after a rainbow crosswalk was painted, other groups wanted crosswalks painted to reflect their values.

“To start painting sidewalks or crosswalks to reflect all these different types of values, I’m not in favour of,” he said at the Dec. 17 council meeting.

RELATED: Qualicum Beach council considers rainbow crosswalk

In its recommendation to council, staff noted safety concerns with the traditional rainbow crosswalk, which usually fills in a crosswalk. “ICBC (has expressed) concerns that additional non-standard marking material at a crosswalk may contribute to problems of slip resistance,” note staff in its report.

To get around those concerns and to bring down costs, staff suggested keep the existing zebra stripe crosswalk but add a thinner rainbow band beside it running the length of the crosswalk. Staff estimated the cost of this option at $8,500 compared to $12,000 for a more standard, larger rainbow crosswalk.

An amendment by Coun. Adam Walker to have part of the costs fundraised by the community was defeated, with Walker and Westbroek in favour.

— NEWS Staff

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