Call for rainbow crossings in Springwood and Katoomba

Springwood could be the first Blue Mountains village to have a rainbow crossing in its main street.

Rainbow Committee Blue Mountains has formed to advocate for a rainbow crossing on Macquarie Road in Springwood, and potentially a second crossing on Katoomba's main street.

Committee member Sara Joyce, who is part of the LGBTIQ community, said she had been deeply affected by some of the hateful comments during the marriage equality debate, and a rainbow crossing would help promote inclusivity in the Blue Mountains.

"It shows people in the community that you are not not alone and we support you," Ms Joyce said.

"It's a positive step for the LGBTQI community in the Mountains, promoting inclusivity and combating bigotry."

Fellow committee member John Dwyer raised the idea of a rainbow crossing in Springwood in a post in the Blue Mountains Community Social Group on Facebook.

"It resulted in over 400 positive reactions and only four negative ones, and for me this was a joyous sign that we have matured as an inclusive community," he said.

"Over the past few years I've observed a real awakening to the value and joy that comes from embracing and cherishing the diversity of those around us at work and in our community."

Ms Joyce said a rainbow crossing would also be more visible, may encourage more people to use the crossing rather than cross anywhere in the street, and would encourage more people to visit the Mountains, boosting the local economy.

The committee is working on a proposal and have approached ward three councillors and Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle to gauge their interest.

Independent ward three councillor Shae Foenander intends to bring a notice of motion to council in September for a rainbow crossing to be included in the Springwood master plan and the redesign of crossings along Macquarie Road.

"The Blue Mountains has always been a special place where a strong sense community and acceptance has always been a part of our culture. There is no better way to symbolise this than by installing a rainbow crossing along Macquarie Road where locals and tourists frequent," Cr Foenander said.

"A rainbow crossing goes beyond a representation of diversity though, it is a symbol of hope and pride, reminding us that no matter who we are, we belong and we matter and to never give up fighting for what you believe in."

Back in 2016, then candidate, now Ward 2 Greens councillor Brent Hoare, had called for a rainbow crossing in Lawson to celebrate and affirm values of acceptance, diversity and pride in the Blue Mountains community.

In Sydney, a rainbow-shaped permanent rainbow crossing was installed at Oxford Street's iconic Taylor Square in February 2019, replacing a rainbow crossing removed from the area in 2013.

And Wollongong council installed a rainbow crossing on Cliff Drive in Wollongong in December 2019, which has become a popular photo spot.

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