The city of Atlanta has taken another step forward in the long walk towards civil rights for all.
The luminous multicolored crosswalk at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Midtown is the “symbol of acceptance, unity and tolerance” for the entire LGBTQ community.
According to statistics, at 12.8 percent, Atlanta has the third highest LGBTQ population per capita behind San Francisco and Seattle.
“These are not just crosswalks, but symbols of acceptance, unity, and tolerance that remind us all of how diverse the LGBT community and its allies are,” said Robert Sepulveda Jr, the founder of the Atlanta Rainbow Crosswalks.
The 34-year-old interior designer originally proposed installing the rainbow crosswalks at the 10th St. & Piedmont Ave location in Midtown before PRIDE 2014, however it was not until 2015 that temporary crosswalks were installed for PRIDE 2015, an event that draws nearly 300,000 participants to Atlanta each year.
In order for the temporary project to be completed, donors and sponsors raised over 40,000 dollars.
After many meetings, proposals, and even opposition, the project was approved by the city of Atlanta
Mayor Kasim Reed said he wanted to permanently recognize the area for its history as a hub for Atlanta’s LGBTQ community.
“In recognition of the contributions of the city’s LGBTQ community will install the rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street, year-round. We must never forget that love defeats hate, and light defeats the darkness.”
Atlanta joins other major cities around the world that have taken the initiative to recognize the LGBTQ community by installing a rainbow crosswalk including Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia, West Hollywood, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney and Tele Aviv.
According to the City of Atlanta, the crosswalks cost $196,000 in taxpayer money to install and should last for about 10 years before repairs are need.
The crosswalk was installed on July 1st.
WAOK will have the latest updates on this developing story.
- Julien Virgin is a writer at CBS Radio Atlanta.