Key West on Thursday installed permanent rainbow crosswalks in the heart of the city’s LGBT entertainment district, at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets.
“Spanning all four corners of the intersection, the crosswalks feature bands of all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized symbol of gay and lesbian unity,” according to a tourism news release.
The crosswalks cost $4,000. Key West Business Guild Executive Director Matt Hon said the guild would pay half and that the other $2,000 comes from individual donations, reports the Florida Keys Keynoter.
Here is the complete news release from Florida Keys News Bureau:
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The City of Key West installed four permanent rainbow crosswalks Thursday at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets, in the heart of the island’s LGBT entertainment district.
Spanning all four corners of the intersection, the crosswalks feature bands of all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized symbol of gay and lesbian unity.
“Key West is very happy to be putting in the first thermoplastic permanent rainbow crosswalks in the state of Florida,” said Mayor Craig Cates. “It means so much to Key West to show our diversity, and also it goes perfectly with our ‘One Human Family’ motto.”
Spearheaded by the city and the Key West Business Guild, the rainbow crosswalks are composed of pre-formed thermoplastic color blocks alternating with white stripes. After the blocks were laid on the street by the city’s Community Services Department workers, they were heat-treated with propane torches to affix the colors permanently on the pavement.
The rainbow crosswalks are the latest manifestation of Key West’s longstanding embrace of diversity. “One Human Family” was adopted as the city’s official philosophy in 2000, proclaiming equality and acceptance for everyone, and the island is internationally known as a leading LGBT vacation destination.
“Accepting diversity has been going on for generations in Key West, mainly starting back when Key West was an island with no access but boats,” said Cates. “Everybody learned to live together, accept one another, so that has continued on through generations and is very evident today.”
While the rainbow crosswalks opened to traffic early Thursday afternoon, their official debut is scheduled Wednesday, June 10, kicking off the June 10-14 Key West Pride festivities.