A rainbow crosswalk that was installed at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia, reportedly set the city back nearly $200,000. While many people are supportive of the symbolic nature of the installation, more balked at the price tag. The “symbol of unity” was added to memorialize the first anniversary of the Pulse Massacre in Orlando.
As reported by CBS 46, Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council were in favor of the project, even with such a high financial investment being required.
Speaking about the approximately $196,000 spent on the crosswalk, Reed stated the city “certainly can afford to do it.”
The substantial price tag includes maintenance on the crosswalk for one year and additional upkeep from the contractors who performed the installation. After the first year, the city’s Public Works department assumes responsibility.
This crosswalk is considered permanent and is anticipated to last around 10 years.
Many locals support the symbolic meaning behind the crosswalk but wonder if the funds would have been better spent, such as by fixing potholes or repairing local roads.
Robin Chandler, a local business owner, said, “I think what they did was a great thing, but if they got $200,000 on painting a rainbow, they can start fixing our roads right here.”
“It’s a lot of wear and tear on our cars and customers cars on a daily basis.”
People also took to social media, expressing similar sentiments as Chandler in regards to the project and generally questioning the amount spent on a crosswalk.
One person even showed a similar project that was completed in Key West, Florida, that only cost a total of $4,000, with the city only being responsible for half of the required amount.
Reed asserts that the crosswalk project had no impact on the funding in place for road repairs, stating, “To folks who talk about potholes and other things, it’s a false choice, because we did the rainbow doesn’t mean we’re not filling potholes.”