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As crosswalks go rainbow for Pride, one city makes theirs permanent

Philadelphia is utilizing thermoplastic material — rather than the traditional paint — to make the rainbow stripes permanent.
As crosswalks go rainbow for Pride, one city makes theirs permanent
Posted at 1:07 PM, Jun 06, 2023

Crosswalks in cities across the country are going rainbow in support of the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.

While the colors usually wither away following Pride, one city says they’re here to stay. 

As in years past, a major intersection at Philadelphia’s Gayborhood is adorned with rainbow stripes this June — but this time they’re permanent. The crosswalks at 13th and Locust Streets are painted a thermoplastic material — rather than the usual paint — which is meant to be more durable and withstand traffic and weather conditions. 

The plan to paint with thermoplastic material is part of the City of Philadelphia’s Center City resurfacing plan. Recapping a board meeting, the Washington Square West Civic association also noted that the rainbow crosswalks were meant to be permanent.

The crosswalks in Philadelphia's Gayborhood feature a total of 11 stripes, one for each color of the Progress Pride flag. In addition to the more common rainbow stripes, the additional stripes add light blue, pink and white to represent trans and non-binary individuals, and brown and black ones to represent communities of color, according to the Human Rights Campaign. While the black stripe does honor people of color, it also represents those that the community lost during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s.

While places like Hoboken, New Jersey, paint their sidewalks every June, others like California's Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood feature the rainbow crosswalks year-round. 

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