Florida

Key West installs permanent rainbow crosswalks

Gary Salazar, left, and Maria Walden, right, are the first to tread across Duval Street in Key West, Fla., on a new rainbow crosswalk just after four were installed at Duval and Petronia streets Thursday, May 28, 2015.

Gary Salazar, left, and Maria Walden, right, are the first to tread across Duval Street in Key West, Fla., on a new rainbow crosswalk just after four were installed at Duval and Petronia streets Thursday, May 28, 2015. Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO

A Conch Tour Train turns at Duval and Petronia streets Thursday, May 28, 2015, in Key West, Fla., just after city workers installed four rainbow crosswalks. Rob O'Neal, Florida Keys News Bureau/HO

A Conch Tour Train turns at Duval and Petronia streets Thursday, May 28, 2015, in Key West, Fla., just after city workers installed four rainbow crosswalks.

Gary Salazar, left, and Maria Walden, right, are the first to tread across Duval Street in Key West, Fla., on a new rainbow crosswalk just after four were installed at Duval and Petronia streets Thursday, May 28, 2015.Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO

Gary Salazar, left, and Maria Walden, right, are the first to tread across Duval Street in Key West, Fla., on a new rainbow crosswalk just after four were installed at Duval and Petronia streets Thursday, May 28, 2015.

KEY WEST, Fla. – Pedestrians, bicycles and cars are traversing a colorful new section of Key West’s Duval Street following the installation of four permanent rainbow crosswalks.

Completed Thursday at the intersection of Duval and Petronia streets — in the heart of the island’s LGBT entertainment district — the crosswalks feature all six colors of the rainbow flag, an internationally recognized gay and lesbian icon.

City workers laid pre-formed thermoplastic color blocks on the pavement, alternating with white stripes, and heat-treated them to permanently affix the colors.

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The rainbow crosswalks exemplify the island city’s longstanding support for diversity. The city commission adopted the motto “One Human Family” in 2000, proclaiming equality and acceptance for all, and the island is a popular LGBT vacation destination.

“Key West is very happy to be putting in the first thermoplastic permanent rainbow crosswalks in the state of Florida,” said Mayor Craig Cates. “It means so much to Key West to show our diversity, and also it goes perfectly with our ‘One Human Family’ motto.”

“Accepting diversity has been going on for generations in Key West, mainly starting back when Key West was an island with no access but boats,” said Cates. “Everybody learned to live together, accept one another, so that has continued on through generations and is very evident today.”

While the rainbow crosswalks opened to traffic early Thursday afternoon, their official debut is scheduled Wednesday, June 10, kicking off the June 10-14 Key West Pride festivities.

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