‘Rainbow crossing’ would be ‘too confusing’ for visually impaired

The 'rainbow crossing' in Arklow.

Tom GalvinBray People

The notion of a ‘rainbow crossing’ for Bray was raised by Sinn Féin Councillor Dermot Brien, at this month’s meeting of Bray Municipal District, who said he had been approached by constituents to find a location for a permanent rainbow crossing in the area.

He said the rainbow flags on the seafront last year had been so well received and there was such “positive messaging” around it. He asked the councillors if there was an “appetite” for such a thing and if so, was it even feasible.

Acknowledging it was a great idea, Fine Gael Councillor Aoife Flynn Kennedy said that Wicklow Pride had ”put that challenge up to the districts”, having already achieved the installation of a rainbow crossing in Arklow.

She said however that in Arklow, it met a lot of resistance from a road-traffic point of view and wondered whether it would present any challenges.

While Councillor Joe Behan “fully supported” the idea, he asked whether the pedestrian crossings which had already been agreed to – at Springfield Cemetery and the other at Novara Road, Bray – would be looked at in the first instance. He added that nor was there any crossing between the council buildings and the Holy Redeemer Church, which was badly needed.

Sinn Féin Councillor Grace McManus said that while something like a rainbow crossing “can just seem symbolic” it nonetheless “has a huge impact for those who need to see it” and that she very much appreciated the support of the members on the proposal.

District Engineer Liam Bourke said while he was supportive of anything in the name of Pride, he said there was a “big issue” with placing a coloured crossing on the road.

He referred to his correspondence with the National Council for the Blind, which has not been opposed to it, but Mr Bourke said they had agreed “it is something that is confusing”, in Arklow, even though the zebra crossing is nearby.

He explained that partially sighted people “can’t distinguish what is safe from what is not” and added that it would need to be done “in some other fashion, on a pavement, but not on a road crossing”.

Cllr O’Brien said he would present the feedback to the relevant constituents to generate other ideas for the proposal.