Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk is at the intersection of Old Yale Road and Community Drive. (Photo: City of Surrey)

Pride crosswalk too expensive to install says municipal council

Mayor and council have asked staff to investigate whether a bench with a plaque supporting the LGBTQ+ community is feasible

Mayor and council discussed a variety of topics during their Aug. 14 regular public meeting, including whether or not painting a Pride Crosswalk was possible within their budget.

Public works superintendent Dave Stewart recommended to council that the pride crosswalk is too expensive to install in the current economic conditions.

The total cost of painting the sidewalk as per Aug 14 council documents is $6,856.64 plus staff time. This would be an annual cost of line painting and would require the district to double the annually budgeted amount for line painting, stated the council document. An additional cost of $1,000 would be involved to purchase a wand for specialized application of the paint.

Melany Helmer, chief administrative officer for the district said mayor and council directed staff to find out whether there was instead an option to set up a bench with a plaque to indicate their support in a different way.

“Public superintendent did some follow up with other municipalities and apparently painting may not be the only costs. Because those crosswalks can be subject to graffiti and damages. And they could require re-application which would lead to an increased cost,” Helmer said.

Staff had other options for mayor and council to discuss in relation to the crosswalk — 1. Change color direction $4,376. This option would involve painting blocks and therefore require less colour reducing the annual cost.

2. Hand over the request to the ministry of transportation and infrastructure.

3. Budget for a crosswalk in 2020. As this item was not budgeted for 2019 and cannot be completed within the approved budget. This could be budgeted for in 2020 and subsequent years.

Meanwhile, other information provided in regard to this project is that there are limited suppliers of road marking paint in the colours need for the sidewalk. The application process is different from what the district currently does and requires that specialized wand for the heat application process.

If you want to share your opinion about this decision by council, write to the editor at newsroom@caledoniacourier.com

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