Lethbridge now has permanent progressive pride and transgender flags painted on two downtown crosswalks. City crews painted them on May 3, thanks to financial support from the Lethbridge Pride Fest.
“These crosswalks are permanent — they are here and you can’t take that away from us certainly,” said Lane Sterr, president of the Lethbridge Pride Fest Society. “I think it’s really important that we have these crosswalks being put in.”
Sterr said the flags recognize Lethbridge’s diverse community.“A lot of our queer history I think comes from a lot of trans people and trans efforts, which are often overooked.”
The city used a different product from the old pride crosswalk, which is more durable and longer-lasting, according to Andrew Malcolm, Urban revitalization manager.
“We use permanent a bit loosely, previously it was basically your standard paint put down on the asphalt and it would wear down within about a year — this paint is a special type and it is going on a concrete surface and so we do expect to get about 10 years out of it,” he said.
Malcolm said the 3 Avenue South and 7 Street South intersection was chosen for its prominence downtown. “We are really proud that the history of downtown is rooted in the diversity of people that live, work, play and shop in the downtown and we think this is a great symbol of that kind of welcoming and inclusive space.”
He added the city does not have plans to prevent vandalism, as has been seen in the past, but he is hoping residents embrace the new fixtures. He added the quality of material will make it easier to keep clean.
“I have a lot of faith in Lethbridge. I think that we have a lot of rich diversity and multiculturalism in our small but mighty Lethbridge community and I hope our community does appreciate them,” said Sterr.