Following in the footsteps of Queenstown and Wellington, Auckland will be getting its own "rainbow crossing" to mark the city’s Pride Month.
The signalised pedestrian crossing will be installed in front of St Kevin’s Arcade on Karangahape Road. It’s expected to be finished by the end of the month.
An Auckland Transport spokesperson told 1 NEWS putting the crossing in place will cost $9000, which includes the price of paints specially mixed for the project, the installation and diverting traffic while it's painted.
A typical signalised crossing would cost between $5000 to $6000, the spokesperson said.
It will be the first rainbow crossing in the country to use the colours of the Progress Pride Flag, which includes additional colours designed by American artist Daniel Quasar.
John Nottage, co-chair of Auckland Transport’s Rainbow Network, said the flag’s design placed “greater emphasis on inclusion and progression”.
“The black and brown stripes represent our often-marginalised LGBTQIA+ communities of colour, along with the colours pink, light blue and white, which are used to acknowledge our transgender community.”
Karangahape Road Business Association manager Michael Richardson said the crossing comes after years of advocacy from many groups.
“It’s fantastic that their work has resulted in this outcome,” Richardson said.
“Karangahape Road is the home of Auckland’s rainbow community. This street and surrounding area has a very special relationship with diversity, from the origins of Hape through to 2021.
“Using the Progress Pride Flag will represent the special history of this area to visitors and locals.”
Claire Dixon, Auckland Transport community transport manager, said the project also will raise awareness of pedestrian safety after the road’s speed limit was reduced to 30km/h in June.
The crossing will be activated by a traffic signal.
“The rainbow crossing is another way – a more fun, colourful way – of letting people know that this is a location where people can and should cross. We expect it will have a positive impact on pedestrian safety on Karangahape Road,” Dixon said.
New Zealand’s first rainbow crossing was installed in June 2018 in Queenstown’s Beach Street, near Lake Wakatipu.
Wellington received its rainbow crossing at the intersection of Dixon Street and Cuba Street in October 2018.
In December last year, New Plymouth painted its own rainbow crossing on Gill Street, near the Centre City mall.