The town of Maplewood, New Jersey has installed some of the most vibrant rainbow crosswalks in the nation to honor its LGBTQ community and celebrate inclusivity – and they’re permanent!
When Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag it was originally in eight colors, and is what this crosswalk is based on.
NJ.com reports: “The crosswalks will be at the intersection of Valley Street, a county road, and Oakview Road. Maplewood will become the first town in New Jersey to feature permanent rainbow crosswalks on a county road to celebrate and honor diversity and inclusion within the community, town officials said.”
Said Dean Dafis, the first openly LGBTQ Maplewood Township Committee member: “We want to do something that would serve as a permanent marker or symbol of our commitment to inclusion. I wanted it to be something you can encounter every day. We want our youth in particular — perhaps those struggling to find their way, those in need of empowerment and affirmation — to proudly cross or walk over their fear and self doubt.”
The crosswalk was unveiled on Thursday.
Added Dafis: “While many towns have striped their crosswalks in the colors of the rainbow before for Pride, no town in NJ has ever done so on a County Rd (Valley) and very few towns in the world have done so in permanent fashion as we are doing. This is a historic achievement and one which once again marks Maplewood as a leader and crusader in diversity, inclusion, and equal treatment. When we commit to something here, we do it BIG!!!!”