The woman behind Princeton’s new rainbow crosswalk was inspired to present the idea to town council by a downtown business owner, Trish Coyne, who recently gave her storefront a bright new paint job.
“Together with their neighbor’s store it gave a spark to that side of the street,” said Nienke Klaver, a local artist.
Noting the idea came around the time of the well-publicized US Supreme Court decision to allow gay marriage she said: “I thought it would be nice to add even more color to Bridge Street and have a rainbow crosswalk.”
The crosswalk, between the post office and Veteran’s Square, was completed last week after council after approved the $2,000 expenditure.
Klaver acknowledged the colorful statement has received mixed reviews.
“Initially there were only two or three people who did not like the idea, however once town council had agreed to the proposal the idea seemed to become more controversial and there as a fair amount of commenting, debating, agreeing and disagreeing,” she said. “Some people were upset that they did not have a vote about spending $2,000 of taxpayers’ money. Other people did not feel comfortable with this particular symbol. However many people expressed that they felt more included because of this symbol.”
Kevin Huey, director of infrastructure, said the town office has received only positive comments about the crosswalk. “People have been quite happy about it,” he said.
Huey noted the crosswalk is not created out of street grade paint, as it is not manufactured in rainbow colors. Huey could not predict how long the acrylic paint will last.
Klaver said she was pleased with council’s quick action on her request.
“I think Town Council saw an opportunity to give a message of all-inclusiveness without it having to cost us a lot of money. I really appreciate Town Council’s decision to go ahead with this project,” she said.