Pedestrian crossings in Cork towns could turn into rainbows in support of Pride

Sinn Féin councillor Danielle Twomey brought forward a motion at the most recent full council meeting calling for the local authority, on a pilot basis, to paint an established pedestrian crossing in rainbow colours in support of Pride week in Mallow, Midleton, and Carrigaline.
Pedestrian crossings in Cork towns could turn into rainbows in support of Pride

An example of a Rainbow Crossing at Merchant Quay, Limerick City. Picture Brendan Gleeson

THE possible painting of pedestrian crossings in rainbow colours in a select number of County Cork towns on a pilot basis in support of Pride week is to be explored in more detail at a Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee meeting.

Sinn Féin councillor Danielle Twomey brought forward a motion at the most recent full council meeting calling for the local authority, on a pilot basis, to paint an established pedestrian crossing in rainbow colours in support of Pride week in Mallow, Midleton, and Carrigaline.

Councillor Twomey said other areas in Ireland have similar features. “We in Cork County Council have always been supportive of Pride. Limerick has just installed its first rainbow crossing. The flag was painted at each side of the crossing. Cork City Council moved a similar motion, and they are set to install one. We need to find a way to do this in recognition of all our LGBT community,” she said.

The project as outlined in the motion however was deemed unsafe for pedestrians and motorists by Cork County Council’s Director of Roads, Padraig Barrett who stated: “Any deviation from the established conventions would be unsafe and could present a danger to road users. Any deviation from the prescribed signage and markings would be illegal, could diminish the validity of the crossing, be unsafe for pedestrians and motorists and could potentially expose Cork County Council to liability or prosecution and therefore cannot be allowed.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Gearoid Murphy seconded the motion saying it had “significant potential”.

“A project like this has significant potential in terms of the positive message it sends out to the LGBT community. I acknowledge that road safety must be of paramount concern when it comes to pedestrian crossings. I would question how Cork City Council and Dublin City Council is able to do it and we can’t do it in Cork County Council.”

Independent councillor Paul Hayes said there seems to be an anomaly around the country with regards to pedestrian crossings.

“We need to be cognisant that pedestrian crossings are there to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians but there does seem to be an anomaly around the country. There seems to be an inconsistency across the country with councils who seem to instal them and others saying no we need to stick to the letter of the law.” 

Fianna Fáil’s Sheila O’Callaghan welcomed the motion but expressed her concerns about the prospect of adding more lines and colouring.

The CEO of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said the matter should be discussed in more detail at a SPC meeting.

“We are an organisation that is to the forefront across both our executive, in our staffing and across the political divide in promoting equality and diversity. Complimenting or supplementing if there are ways to do that we will do so. It is perhaps a matter the SPC might consider and see how it can be addressed.”

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