Castro reveals design for rainbow crosswalks


"It maintains some of the history of the neighborhood and brings more of a statement of who we are," Andrea Aiello, executive director of the Castro Community Benefits District, said.

The merchants of the Castro Community Benefits District are paying about $37,000 for the colorful crosswalks. The design, unveiled Thursday, was chosen from four options voted on by 4,500 people.

It's expected to be a more subtle, sophisticated version than what's currently on the streets of West Hollywood.

The Castro's decorative crosswalks will be part of a $4.5 million city-funded streetscape project that will widen the sidewalks and add trees.

But what will replace plain asphalt at 18th and Castro streets has people in the neighborhood talking.

"It's too colorful," Larry Holmes said. "Keep it simple, simple and elegant, OK?"

But Jayne Goldstein likes the plan.

"It's never too much; besides there are so many straight people moving into the neighborhood it's hardly gay anymore," she said.

Unique crosswalks can be found elsewhere in the city, like these in the tenderloin. The head of public works believes rather than distracting drivers, this slows them down.

"They actually make the driver know that he is coming to a crossing," Mohammed Nuru said. "They enhance and make it safer for pedestrians."

The rainbows should be in place in time for Pride in June.

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