An effort to raise $30,000 to help pay for the installation of rainbow crosswalks at the corner of North Main and East Evergreen has begun in earnest with an online campaign on Kickstarter.
In June, District 1 City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño, submitted a Council Consideration Request seeking the council’s approval for the crosswalks. The proposal was co-signed by council members Manny Pelaez, William Cruz Shaw, Rey Saldana and Alicia Sandoval.
“The Main Avenue Strip has been the center of the LGBT community in San Antonio for decades,” Trevino wrote in his proposal. “It is the home to many LGBT owned businesses and the site of the annual Pride Parade. The addition of this crosswalk will affirm San Antonio is a place of acceptance and equality.”
The San Antonio City Council’s Governance committee voted on August 2 to approve the installation of the crosswalks.
“The measure is approved and will launch as a pilot program and report back to transportation committee six months after installation. We hope to have [the crosswalks] installed by the new year,” District 1 City Councilman Roberto C. Treviño told Out In SA at the time.
Once the pilot program ends, the crosswalks must face a vote by the full City Council before they can become permanent.
The Governance Committee’s approval specified private funds must be raised to offset the difference in the cost of installing a traditional white-striped crosswalk. The total cost for the installation of the rainbow crosswalks is $40,000 with the city covering $20,000 of that amount and the LGBT community raising the balance.
The amount being sought in the Kickstarter campaign represents the community’s portion of the cost ($20,000) plus $10,000 for upfront costs and ongoing maintenance. The money must be raised by December 31.
The longevity [of the crosswalk] depends on amount of traffic but we are working on a maintenance plan,” Trevino says. “The system that the city uses is a durable system that is heat transferred on to asphalt. We want to have monies available for maintenance so that we can plan on a long term installation that will be around for many years.” Treviño has been meeting with LGBT community leaders to collaborate on the design of the crosswalks and to discuss fundraising.
Local attorney Rosie Gonzalez, who is among those helping lead the fundraising effort, told Out In SA, “Whatever we need to do to raise the money, we will do. I’m confident because our city has a long list of committed LGBT community members and allies who will step forward to help with our efforts.”
Last July, on the day of the Pride festival and parade, a group of volunteers organized by Gonzalez painted a set of rainbow crosswalks in chalk on Main and Evergreen. The move was widely-reported in the local media and is credited with helping create momentum for the installation of permanent crosswalks.