West Hollywood Getting Permanent Rainbow Crosswalks

Rainbow

Work has begun on two permanent rainbow-colored crosswalks on Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards in West Hollywood, California, KTLA reports:

The permanent crosswalks will have skid-resistant thermoplastic pavement markings and new asphalt. The estimated cost to upgrade the rainbow crosswalks is $67,364. The estimated cost for the initial temporary installation was $13,000. Construction is being done by Sharidan Design Asphalt of Alpine and it's expected to be completed by the first week of October.

(via americablog)

Comments

  1. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! West Hollywood has a rich history in fighting for equality, not to mention some very horrific and heart breaking gay bashing incidents that took place in it’s streets in the past. When you get the chance, read about the LGBT movement in West Hollywood during the 60s and 70s, and how so many in the LGBT united to help their friends in the 80s who were battling AIDS by throwing educational AND inspirational events throughout the streets of WEHO in the 80s (when some surrounding areas and cities wouldn’t allow it)…and during the Prop 8 battle, it became a safe haven to have our battle cry, shout, hug, unite, galvanize. It’s a city that is what you make of it and fortunately for me, I’ve been exposed to the many many, LGBT non profits, organizations, mentor groups, youth councel groups, events, get togethers and fond memories of Weho.

    For me…this rainbow sidewalk is a symbol of all of that.

  2. says

    Considering how hetero-washed the area was close to becoming, and how it was tireless GLBT who made West Hollywood what it is, I’m thrilled to see this. The thing about Los Angeles that many people don’t know is that there’s is literally a part of this city that is designated- yes, designated, for every demographic and group of people. That’s not to say only those folks can migrate there at all. But it does mean that there is a part of this city that has a theme for all types of people, especially minority groups, to feel like they are one of many.
    Be it Pico and the Jewish region, Little Armenia, Persian Westwood, Chinatown, Olvera street and surrounding Mexican enriched area, Little Ethiopia, and there’s even a street in downtown L.A that is one that celebrates being a women and has many organizations devoted to woman’s rights. Each of these areas has flags, symbols, and identifiable traits that celebrate those in that community. For that reason, I’m glad a West Hollywood exists and I’m glad West Hollywood is unapologetic about being gay in a society that often demands we go back in the closet.

  3. Edgar Fuentes says

    I actually think, given the layout of the street and the wonderful views of the Hollywood Hills, and blue sky above, that the vibrance of the colors looks quite striking and beautiful. I know exactly where this intersection is, and on a clear day, I think this lends a bit of ecclectic vibrance to the city.

  4. Trip in Kansas says

    If the religious right can have their signs and billboards and posters literally in every single part of my small town…then I see absolutely no reason why we can’t proudly display our rainbow colors. Plus, for me, whereas the recent religious billboard near our small town read divisive (“Don’t have Jesus? Don’t have fulfillment”) the rainbow colors represent the beautiful diversity of the world. Tall, short, old, young, dark, light, shy, extroverted, those colors are about the diverse world around us. The religious images I see all around me every day here is all about “Be Christian….OR ELSE!”
    I’ll take the pretty rainbow colors, thank you.

  5. Los Angelino says

    Lovely.

    I’m also in the camp that finds Weho charming, and endearing, and yes; full of broad history. I think it became ‘cool’ and hip to knock West Hollywood, but it’s usually those who don’t know much about it or care to give it a chance that were eager to bash this city. Anywhere you live, you’re mentality will shape what you take away from the city. If all you want to fixate on is going out late night and getting drunk in weho, than by all means, that’s all you will take away from it. If you were to explore the city some more, and it’s incredibly diversified residents, many of whom are our elder LGBT, you’d see the charming city for what it is. A beautiful, incredibly clean, relatively safe, relatively affordable (rent control rocks) extremely dog friendly, fun, festive, and gay friendly area to let loose and just be.

    That I can see two much older lesbians, share a cross walk with a body builder, an Asian women in a business suit, and a punk rock chick with pink spiked hair, and no one bats an eye lash is my idea of a pleasent environment.

  6. Leon says

    Love it too. We’re gay, proud of it, and YES we do have parts of cities that are gay enclaves and they rock and they should be known and sustained as ‘gay notable areas’
    Wave those rainbow flags baby.

  7. Duration & Convexity says

    What I always find amusing is when heteros claim they don’t care who is gay, and about being gay, yet clearly they do. Clearly there are enough heteros out there to be fixated on gays, our lives, our community to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in campaigns against our civil rights. Clearly they care enough to have conferences about how gays are ruining society. Clearly they care enough to have protests and rallies at our events. They only pretend not to care when we show our pride, be it with a parade or a rainbow flag, and in a calculating attempt to get us to not be “so gay” they attempt to make it seem as though we’re the ones making a big deal of being gay. No, we’re taking pride in being gay due to the courage it takes to be gay in this society of heterosexuals that dictates we be more “str8 acting”
    Extremely transparent.

  8. says

    The people who take issue with this are the same types who take issue with Pride, are the same ones who take issue with pro LGBT bumper stickers, are the same ones who take issue with the rainbow flag, are the same ones who take issue with same sex PDA…picking up on a pattern here?

    There’s some amongst us, better known as the self loathing crowd, who sincerely resent any and all identifiable traits of gay. It’s not enough for them to be indifferent and passable toward our community and various symbolic traits of it, they demand we all adopt gay erasure, blend in, be passable and keep being gay hidden behind closed doors as a sexual fetish of some sort. Nah, I’ve been through quite a journey to land where I am today accepting myself as an openly gay man. I won’t censor or hinder moments where I am proud of that. My initial reaction to reading about this sidewalk was: I’d like to go there for a photo op, because it represents something to me.

  9. IonMusic says

    Homo Genius, your rant against the rainbow perfectly illustrates Art Smith’s point above. Considering your previous posts that almost always read as either slightly homophobic at best, or apologist for being gay at worst, I’m not surprised you would take issue with the rainbow. You’re the exact candidate Art Smith was referring to in his/her post.

  10. says

    Homo Genius,

    Why can’t your type of gay, ya know..those who resent identifiable gay symbols, live your lives for you? It’s exactly like the ‘str8 acting’ crowd in the gay world. It’s not enough for them to not act masculine, it’s ‘EVERY GAY MAN IS REPRESENTING ME, SO THEY NEED TO ALL HAVE THE SAME MANNERISMS AS ME! They are gay, I am gay, and I REALLY care about what heteros think of me. I want their approval. So fellow gays, adopt a straight like mannerism and be like me.” Sorry dude, you don’t get to dictate what other gays can think do, or what holds value to them. If you don’t appreciate the rainbow for what it means, that’s on you. It won’t ever go away. E-V-E-R. So long as gays like me exist, and millions of us do, who know our history and are filled with *pride* about it; that flag ain’t going nowhere. You on the other hand do have the option of ‘de-gaying’ yourself and distancing yourself from all rainbow flags, gay community themes, symbols, and the like. See how freedom works?

  11. Scott Johansen says

    I kinda love this too. Rainbow is a known mark that associates a gay entity for many, and this is a way of saying:
    We are here, and have always been here, especially in this area.
    And as others noted, in a time where in sooooooooo many parts of the country we are being shunned, and shamed back in the closet or intimidated to stay hidden, a street mark like this sends the message to those who may be closeted that you’re not alone, and in a town like this, you being out is celebrated and embraced. I like that.

  12. 2 Dads says

    I’m visiting L.A (Venice Beach area to be exact) next month, but I’m definitely making a trip to West Hollywood to see this and snap some shots. I think for some, they just see brights rainbow colors, but for others, they grasp what this street walk really stands for.

  13. says

    * I meant, it’s not enough for the straight acting crowd in the gay community to not be feminine…(they demand everyone act according to their comfort levels and dismiss all gay related symbols, like a rainbow flag, as they would.)

  14. Gary A says

    This is my neighborhood, I live just down San Vicente several blocks from this intersection and I LOVE it. When I first heard about it when they did it before Pride, before seeing it I was a little concerned that it might be a bit tacky. Then I saw it in person and it was fabulous! So glad to hear they’ve decided to make it permanent. As too often happens, GLBT neighborhoods tend to get gentrified and then notsomuch GLBT any more. I’ve always been worried about that happening with WeHo which is so charming, and I think this is a big step to keep it as gay or gay-friendly as possible. This crosswalk fits in very nicely with the revitalization of Santa Monica Blvd along these 3 or 4 blocks with all the new bars/restaurants popping up or giving themselves a makeover and the rainbow flags flying nearby in the median and all festive decorations that now seem to be permanent year-round. It must be visited in person to appreciate fully. Proud to live in WeHo!

  15. Deep Treez says

    I’m in the camp who see’s a rainbow flag, especially in some parts of the country, and yeah, I instantly feel better about that establishment, feel a sense of connection to it, and feel warmth. To walk in a city where some businesses actually have a gay friendly marker outside their ship, and a street that is so gay welcoming that they’d have their sidewalks paying slight tribute to gays is mother f-cking bad ass to me. If I could afford to get the eff out of where I am, I’d love to live in a place like that.

  16. Yellow Mellow says

    I think it’s really pretty. Sh*t it beats starring at Starbucks, and Target signs in every corner. My whole thing is, every city should encompass unique symbolism that makes it itself. Not just plastered with corporate logos.

  17. Dino says

    It’s well known that part of West Hollywood’s not so rainbow — and not so distant — gay history includes bouncers at gay bars turning away black and brown men, or demanding multiple forms of ID to enter.

  18. Chris says

    I’m in Stillwater, Oklahoma, 19, and most people around me would probably beat up the first known gay person they see, much less allow a rainbow street crosswalk. For those of you who live in such chill places like that, appreciate it. Don’t take it for granted. It may not be for everyone, but some of us would kill to live in an area where we could hold our boyfriends hand, walking over a crosswalk that is rainbow colored, and not have a single person care.
    That’s a really foriegn thought for me living in Oklahoma. But I’m glad it exists for others.

    One day I’ll be saving up.

  19. Old-timer says

    Weho was getting so gentrified that we had straight parents actually complaining about the noise level and seeing drag queens in public (no joke) at a certain point, a community has to grab their back bones and stand up for their convictions and say “Listen here, we put our literal blood, sweat and tears to make this area what it is, and we will be affirming it as a very gay friendly area for future generations”
    So glad the city of West Hollywood grabbed it’s spine and held to it’s integrity. I’m 64 and have been here for ages. I know what it took to make West Hollywood go from a city that had bars with signs that read “No f-gs allowed” to be where our President makes marriage equality speeches. And it wasn’t by apologizing for our rainbow flag.

  20. Mike says

    Dino,
    and funny enough, the current history in many urban hip hop themed clubs is documented as turning gay couples away, and harassing them. Which happens all the time. Funny how one is acceptable and not talked about much by you.

  21. So Cal Stan says

    With Prop 8 in all likelihood being overturned very soon, I see this exact spot being filled with very happy spectators and gay parents, and celebrations in the very near future!

  22. CIER says

    Meant Halloween carnival in weho. It starts on this very street and is a blast, all types of peeps, fun, music, last year robyn performed. I love Weho. Especially during halloween

  23. Cathy J. says

    Wow…I just saw the pictures of how this is being constructed and I gotta admit, I got slightly teary eyed. It was really nice, especially because it was heart shaped with the words love, and that’s what this represents to me. I also agree that it’s probably a stepping stone being placed for all the celebrations that will take place over it when Prop 8 is over turned.

  24. says

    I can’t believe a story on here has …for once, generated an overwhelming amount of support and positive comments. I’m certain the usual bitter jaded posters who need something to complain about just haven’t gotten off work or logged on yet, so I fully expect to see some negative rants, but for the tiem being, it’s kinda nice to see pleasent comments about a perfectly harmless and pleasent story.

  25. Zlick says

    I had hoped they would be temporary – that is, used for the two or three incredible special events held in WeHo each year. They added something really awesome to those big street parties … and once they become permanent, well of course they won’t be special for that any longer.

    Eh, just a quibble. It’s a cool gay identifier to a city that – I think thankfully – has become less of a gay ghetto in the last decade or two. WeHo still gets a bad name for the self-centered judgmentalism of a too-visible sub-culture of young (and vapid) gay guys – but it’s also a wonderful and friendly town to live in and was touted last year as The Most Walkable City in California (I don’t know who awarded WeHo that accolade, but it’s very true).

    Nowadays, though gays are spread throughout L.A. and hardly make up the whole WeHo population anymore, tourist buses full of gawkers come through for a look at the gayborhood, and the vibrant bar scene will be nicely augmented with these added rainbow crosswalks for a very visual treat.

  26. Curtis H. says

    When I was gay bashed and our local community organized a peaceful walk in my honor outside the area I was attacked, and friends, strangers, and loved ones all came sporting that rainbow flag: I did absolutely feel a sense of both pride and peace seeing people display it. It made my heart heavy to witness that. To be at the exact spot where a brutal incident against me took place could have potentially been emotionally traumatic, yet it was having my friends there, and seeing so many of those rainbow flags with them that made me feel safe in that moment in time. And I do believe for some LGBT, that is what that rainbow color exemplifies.

  27. 1975 Champ says

    West Hollywood is home. No I don’t live there, but I love it there, love the memories with friends I’ve shared there, loved the activism that has taken place there, love the day I met my partner there, love that I can walk hand in hand in every corner of West Hollywood with my partner there, and love the history of it being there. It is a gay fort, and thank God for that. It may not be my residence, but it will always have a part of my heart.

  28. jason says

    If I had the power, I would ban West Hollywood. Yep, ban it. It’s an enclave which segregates us from the mainstream. We should be out in the general mainstream, not in some segregated enclave based on a sex act and promiscuity.

    Guess who loves the fact that we’re in enclaves? Homophobes, that’s who. Homophobes love the fact that we are sequestered away in geographically separate areas of Los Angeles. It serves their interests. It keeps us away from them. They love it.

    I doubt that many of you will ever realize that your enclave-loving behavior empowers homophobes. I suspect many of you don’t even care. All you want is to drink, smoke and fornicate.

  29. Hughes says

    I need to stop reading these personal accounts of West Hollywood. I’m stuck in a hell hole town in Ohio (not all of Ohio is bad, but the area I’m in now is truly awful) and I miss my days living in West Hollywood. Having my two dogs, one who is 85 pounds, but never worrying about an apartment turning them down considering how dog friendly that city is. How you could get a pretty adorable apartment on the cheap. How people WERE friendly for the most part, and how if you checked someone out, you wouldn’t feel bipolar in wondering which team they played for. My favorite was the view from La Cienega and Melrose with the homes from the hollywood hills above. And of course, Million of Milkshakes. Have one for me for those of you still around there.

  30. says

    Ignoring Jason has been the most thoughtful thing I’ve ever done.

    Congrats Weho! This looks awesome. Can’t wait to see photos of the celebrations that are bound to happen when gay marriage is soon legalized in that state.

  31. says

    Some people are not familiar with Los Angeles. There’s murals ALL over L.A, usually in relation to the surrounding areas. One for all groups of people. You’ll for example see many latin themes in murals painted on streets and walls in downtown L.A, or religious art by the streets of Churches, or intriguing murals of black children in areas heavily populated by black residents. I’ve actually always wondered and asked why West Hollywood never had LGBT murals or just reflective LGBT art on the streets, buildings or even crosswalks in this case. It is fitting and reflective for an area that has stood loyal toward gay rights for ages to muster something like this up. And I welcome it.

    It’s one thing to be mainstream, it’s another thing to adopt gay erasure and eliminate traces of who we are. Expanding ourselves to various parts of the city does not have to come at the expense of eliminating gay symbolism, art, and that universal rainbow color wheel of equality. This crosswalk is necessary in a city that consistently celebrates all diverse communities, and pays tribute to them through artistic and symbolic displays. No better place for this to go than on the lively streets of West Hollywood.

  32. jason says

    The people who are rubbing their hands in glee are the bar owners who are making a lot of money from a segregated market – ie gays. You’re enabling the wealth of a very small number of business proprietors.

  33. Carlos says

    Jason,

    I wouldn’t normally take the time to respond to you, but there is something gay dictators like you should know. As others stated, it’s not enough for you to not want to partake in something within the gay community, be it a West Hollywood or holding a rainbow flag, you want to police what other gays do.. Gays like you are a dime a dozen. You go on and on about how you don’t appreciate gay nightlife or “the gay scene” and essentially demand every gay person stop enjoying them. You don’t like the rainbow flag, so every gay person should distance themselves from it. You don’t like West Hollywood? the city should cease to exist and all gays should do as told by you. So it all begs the question, what valid differences are there between you and a homophobic politician who seeks to control the lives of gay people? You’re both telling the broad gay population to do or discontinue to do something based on YOUR personal desires. Won’t amount to much though, because, pssst~ little info for you, LGBT have gone through enough in their lives to stand for being told what to do, where to go, and what to enjoy in their adulthood, from another gay person no less. Remember that next time you rant & rave.

  34. Zlick says

    Jason, try catching up to 2012. West Hollywood ceased being a gay ghetto in the 1990’s. It’s still very visibly gay, what with a strand of gay bars in the heart of town – but as I said in my post above, it’s been a long while since the gays spread out across Los Angeles, and the WeHo population seems (by my anecdotal resident observations) to be approximately 43% gay.

    But it will always be a center of welcoming gay culture – and with the days of the gay enclave that fags dare not venture beyond being long behind it – it’s the best of all worlds.

  35. CeeCee says

    I think this is a great idea, and it all works hand in hand with visibility. We are here, we do have a thriving community, we are part of the colorful world that is the human race, and just as black, latino, women, Jews, and every other group can and does have identifiers that unite them and that they are proud of, so do we. We have a lot to be proud of as an LGBT. Thanks for recognizing it WeHo.

  36. says

    I live in a place where I see real rainbows virtually every day….sometimes several in one day; very often double rainbows.They are one of the most beautiful things in the world.
    They always remind me of just how beautiful we are and how serene our goals are.
    I know this post is off point.

    I guess some of you like the rainbow crosswalk , some of you don’t; but shouldn’t we get worked up about more important issues ?

  37. says

    JACKFKNWIST,

    Respectfully, I don’t see anyone worked up. An overwhelming majority of the comments seem to agree in liking this, finding it to be symbolic given the homophobic climate, and some even wishing their city did it. I think actually there’s far more positivity in this comments section of this particular story than I’m normally used to.

  38. Dynex says

    JackFknTwist,
    Love your posts dude. but Jason doesn’t really count as a poster. his rants aside, I agree with the person above, most are actually embracing this perfectly harmless and actually lovely gesture by the city of West Hollywood

  39. Dynex says

    Another thumbs up vote from me. I think knowing homophobes will resent this, and knowing there’s some gay person who can feel more uplifted by seeing a city so visibly showcase support for our community makes me all for this and similar measures. And yes, rainbows rock and there’s been many a days where I thought “I’m glad our communities symbol is something so beautiful and sweet”

  40. UFFDA says

    I think this is cool especially for those many for whom “gay community” means something special. There’s room for every celebration and hue. It doesn’t touch me deeply, though I’m as gay as possible, because I don’t “belong” to gay life as such. There are just too many other interesting things to be a part of, which I am. However, LA is one of the world’s great melting pots where gay people have prospered and contributed…it’s perfect for Weho and I would love to visit it.

  41. UFFDA says

    And come on, Jason, Rick, Ratbasterd and others are fun to read, a valuable counterpoint and worth considering if only for a nanosecond, often more. All they have is a point of view, nothing to be bothered by unless it seems more valid than one likes.

  42. millerbeach says

    They tried something like that on State St. in downtown Chicago…something for an arts project, not gay-related. It didn’t last very long…the rub of constant auto traffic wore it out rather quickly. Better luck with the one in West Hollywood. I think it is a cool idea, and everyone loves rainbows! :)

  43. Kevin Wallace says

    Ima have to check this out while it’s still clean and not dirty from all the people/cars walking over it. I agree that it would make a tight photo op background.

  44. FunMe says

    I absolutely love this! I’m always in “Weho” as that is where the boys are. I may live in Santa Monica, but West Hollywood is like a 2nd home to me if you know what I mean. 😉

    As someone mentioned, with more straights moving into the city, this is a good reminder that gays helped make West Hollywood the beautiful city that is today. “We built this city!”

  45. Buster says

    I dislike this installation. Flags don’t belong attached to the street concrete as crosswalk markers.

    Streets are dirty. There’s a reason why they are normally black or grey. Inevitably, these installations will be stained with tire tracks, car oil, chewing gum and all the other sorts of dirt that the world dumps on streets. The colors will become grey, faded, broken and chipped. In the picture above, you can already see how the crosswalk colors lack the vibrancy of the colors of the rainbow flag flying above it. Imagine it after a year.

    For a weekend it might be fine, but on a long-term basis, it is disrespectful to the rainbow flag to put it on “permanent” display like this.

    Tacky and ill-thought out.

  46. Pete says

    Buster, your comment is ill-thought out since this isn’t a physical flag. It’s a painted rainbow, and if you read any of the comments before yours, you’d see it means a lot to others.

  47. Buster says

    Oh, Pete – I read every single one of the comments before mine.

    The crosswalks aren’t some rainbow tribute to Noah or the Wizard of Oz — they are physical representations of the rainbow flag emblem used by the gay community since 1978. That’s why it’s being done.

    I like the rainbow flag, and, as I said, I think the street version is very likely to start looking like crap very quickly and I think that crappy-looking public art is a bad idea (no matter what its underlying meaning is) but it’s somehow worse when it’s based on a flag that means something to people.

    It’s lovely that other people think differently and disagree with me. But, you seem to suggest that I should think like everyone else because this “means a lot” to them. Hmmm. Unfortunately, somebody taught me that it was okay to think for myself. Sorry. I’m sure it’s easier to just try to figure out what everyone else is thinking and doing and just to say and to do the same thing — and, ironically, I know that’s a popular way of life among a core group of trendy WeHo folk — but I don’t find it a persuasive argument.

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