Key West City in Florida installed four permanent rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets in the heart of the island’s LGBTQIA entertainment district. Spanning all four corners of the intersection, the crosswalks feature long bands of all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized symbol of the LGBTQIA community.
Spearheaded by the city and the Key West Business Guild, the crosswalks are composed of pre-formed thermoplastic color stripes. After the stripes were laid on the street by city workers, they were heat-treated with propane torches to affix the colors permanently on the pavement.
“The rainbow crosswalks, to us in the City of Key West, mean that everybody is welcome, everybody is equal, everybody is recognized and that we do really abide by the ‘One Human Family’ spirit,” said Key West Mayor Teri Johnston. “Everybody is a part of Key West.”
“One Human Family” was adopted as the city’s official philosophy in 2000, proclaiming equality and acceptance for all. Key West is known for targeting LGBTQIA vacationers.
It is worth noting though that Florida, as a whole, still has issues with discrimination of minority sectors. As reported by FlKeysNews, citing a report released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida has 63 active hate groups, ranking second in the whole of US among states with the biggest number of hate groups (California is first, with 79). Four of these are in Miami-Dade County.
The crosswalks’ installation was the final step in a project to repave and re-stripe Key West’s historic Duval Street from the 100 block to Truman Avenue.
Rainbow crosswalks were originally installed on Duval in 2015, becoming a city landmark and popular photo stop. Their replacement, necessitated by the repaving project, also allowed for a redesign that makes the rainbow colors stand out more vividly against the asphalt.