The West Hollywood city council will consider directing staff to study the permanent installation of transgender flag crosswalks located at a prominent intersection along Santa Monica Boulevard. The item initiated by council members John Erickson and Sepi Shyne also wants City Staff to gather feedback about the re-installation of the rainbow crosswalk and adding black and brown stripes so that the rainbow crosswalks are inclusive to all communities.
Staff will be asked to seek feedback from relevant commissions and advisory boards, including the Transportation Commission, the Transgender Advisory Board, and the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board, to identify a crosswalk location. The discussion is set to take place at a regular city council meeting scheduled for Monday, December 21, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in a teleconference format.
In 2012, the City of West Hollywood permanently installed rainbow colors over the existing
red brick decorative crosswalks located on San Vicente Boulevard at Santa Monica
Boulevard. The landmark rainbow crosswalks emphasize the core branding of West
Hollywood and are a symbol of the City’s history as a place of tolerance and acceptance
for the LGBTQ community. The rainbow crosswalks are in the heart of one of the most
iconic areas for the LGBTQ community and are a creative and unique gateway to LGBTQ
activities in West Hollywood. The rainbow crosswalks have been replicated in numerous
other cities. Installing the transgender flag colors in crosswalks located at a prominent intersection along Santa Monica Boulevard, similar to the rainbow crosswalks would call attention to the City’s support for transgender rights and be inclusive of the transgender community.
A transgender flag mural was painted between the two rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard ahead of the All Black Lives Matter March this past June. The City did not sponsor or approve the march. The same goes for the transgender flag mural, which was painted without a vote, a permit, or approval from the City Manager or West Hollywood City council. John Erickson joined trans activists and community members in the painting of the mural, which became a subject of debate this past summer. There were questions on the City’s stand on trans rights, whether a trans crosswalk should be erected somewhere in the city and why some felt the mural was a defacement of City property.
Mayor Lindsey Horvath was criticized for making an an appearance during the painting of the mural while West Hollywood sheriff’s created road blocks and directed traffic to keep the muralists safe.
Former council member John Duran argued that adding a transgender flag opens the city to have other groups demand representation. An example he used was that a group could request a confederate flag to go up on Santa Monica Boulevard.
In the study of the installation of the transgender flag colors, there are several factors staff
should take into consideration. The intersection chosen should be close to the rainbow
flag crosswalk or provide some cultural significance. Logistically, the colors of the flag
(light blue, pink, and white are much lighter than the rainbow flag and
may need more regular reapplication or cleaning. The City will need to consider traffic
safety and traffic counts in determining which intersection to use in order to protect
pedestrians and drivers and extend the lifespan of the new crosswalks. These factors
should also be presented to the various commissions and advisory boards mentioned
previously and considered during their discussions related to the topic.
The item states that the cost for the transgender flag crosswalks will depend on the intersection chosen, the type of application used, and the more frequent replacement and cleaning requirements of the lighter colors. The estimated cost for the replacement of the rainbow crosswalk is $85,000 based on the current configuration and location, which is budgeted in the Facilities & Field Services Division budget.
To view the December 21 City Council Meeting Agenda Packet, visit: