City of Sydney Council has today unveiled plans for a new rainbow crossing at the southern end of Taylor Square in Surry Hills on the corner of Bourke and Campbell Streets.
The original was created on Oxford Street in 2013 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Sydney’s Mardi Gras, but was tarred over one month later, at the behest of then NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay.
The crossing was deemed a safety risk by road experts, after punters started to lie down on it to take photos, and just generally skylark about the site. Its destruction, in the dead of night, cost a whoppin’ $30K.
Still, an independent safety audit found that the original crossing had not actually caused any accidents or injuries.
Its removal led to a massive public outcry: 16,000 people signed a petition to keep the crossing, while some created their own DIY chalk crossings and/or mounted rainbow flags.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore is proud as punch of the new plans, speaking to the significance of the crossing for Sydney’s strong LGBTIQ+ community.
Our beautiful Oxford Street rainbow crossing became a global sensation in 2013 and it was devastating when it was removed with no warning in the middle of the night.
The news that it will be reinstated is incredibly significant on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the first Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on June 24 and a powerful acknowledgement of the importance of our LGBTIQ community and history.
The new crossing, supported by current Roads Minister Melinda Pavey, is set to cost Council $24K, with work scheduled to begin in October. They expect its construction will take about three months.
In six months, the NSW Government‘s Roads and Maritime Services will review the safety of the new crossing – and if everything’s gravy, the crossing will become a 100% permanent fixture.