At least one B.C. town managed to create a four-sided rainbow crosswalk for less than a quarter of Langley Township’s estimated cost.
Earlier this month, Township council considered a proposal for a rainbow crosswalk in Fort Langley after a staff estimate of a $50,000 price tag for all four legs of a crosswalk at Glover Road and Mavis Avenue.
The price attracted a lot of criticism from the council.
Doing a single crosswalk over one street would cost $12,000 to $13,000, according to staff.
However, Kelowna installed a rainbow crosswalk across four lanes for $10,000 last year.
The crosswalk included the normal white lines and spaced out the coloured bars of the rainbow within each arm of the crosswalk.
The total cost was about $10,000, said Fred Wollin, Kelowna’s traffic operations supervisor.
“You don’t have to cover the whole asphalt,” he said of the design.
The coloured patches are torched-on thermoplastic, as was considered for Langley Township’s design.
The city of Kelowna looked at what other communities had done, and decided not to cover the entire width of the crosswalk within the lines, partly as a cost-saving measure. Each arm still contains a rainbow spectrum of colour.
Wollin said he has been getting a lot of calls from other communities about the Kelowna crosswalk since it was installed.
Other communities near Langley have also installed rainbow crosswalks for less than the Township estimated.
New Westminster installed a rainbow crosswalk in 2015 across Columbia Street at Church.
The total cost of installation was $7,875, said New West communications manager Blair Fryer.
Further costs include an hour of staff time to pressure wash the crossing clean, said Freyer.
Maple Ridge recently budgeted $6,000 for installing its one-leg rainbow crosswalk.
The initial proposal came from Langley artist Elaine Brewer-White in July.
“I have family members that are LGBT, [lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender],” said Brewer-White at the July meeting.
She suggested Fort Langley as a possible location.
Brewer-White initially offered to help supply the paint herself, through a project sponsor, but the Township staff wanted to go with professional grade thermoplastic. The plastic is highly durable to traffic and less slippery than standard paint.
The Township council referred the rainbow crosswalk issue to the Fort Langley Business Improvement Association and also asked staff to consider it as a public art initiative.