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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Castro Street Gets a Makeover With Gay Crosswalk

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 7:15 AM

click to enlarge FLICKR/YVRBCBRO

You know what's missing from the Castro? Queer crosswalks.

Fortunately, San Francisco is getting a jumpstart on out-gaying Salt Lake City this year with a new streetscape project that, among other things, will include a rainbow-colored crosswalk.

Not that the colorful neighborhood needed more color.

When it's all said and done, the Castro will have new street lights and trees, a rainbow-colored crosswalk at 18th and Castro streets, and an LGBT walk of fame, featuring inlaid plaques commemorating LGBT heroes and heroines.

The project will also include a much-needed upgrade to Jane Warner Plaza. Named after SFPD Officer Jane Warner, who died of cancer, the Plaza, located at Castro and Market streets, will feature new potted plants along with picnic tables and chairs where people can chill and gobble up cock-shaped cookies.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who represents the Castro, told SF Weekly that much of the $8.3 million for the project is coming from Proposition B (streets and pedestrian safety bond) and that his office partnered with the Department of Public Works and Planning Department to facilitate the design process. If you don't like the idea of a gay-themed crosswalk, blame the voters. It was them who chose the design for the via an online survey.

The Castro Upper Market Community Benefit District is paying for the installation of the rainbow crosswalk, which is costing $37,500, according to Bay Area Reporter.

"The project will be transformational for the neighborhood," Wiener said. "The Castro is a true walking neighborhood, but our sidewalks don't match the level of pedestrian foot traffic. We will finally have sidewalks wide enough to handle the pedestrian flow which will improve this important aspect of public life in our neighborhood."

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