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Decisions on crosswalks for Legion and Disability Coalition delayed

Decorative Crosswalk Policy means groups will need to submit new applications for specialty crosswalks
Town of Barrhead councillors deferred to speciality crosswalk requests to the CAO following the passage of a new Decorative Crosswalk Policy during their May 14 meeting. The Barrhead Accessibility Coalition and the Barrhead Royal Canadian Legion made the requests for the speciality crosswalks. Both crosswalks, if approved, would be on Main Street at the four-way stop intersection.

BARRHEAD - Two community groups will have to wait to learn whether they can install a decorative crosswalk in downtown Barrhead.

The Barrhead Accessibility Coalition and the Barrhead Royal Canadian Legion submitted requests to paint decorative crosswalks for town councillors' consideration during their May 14 meeting.

However, earlier in the meeting, the council approved a new policy around decorative crosswalk and the decision to approve the crosswalks is no longer in council's hands.

The policy sets out clear criteria that individuals and local community groups and organizations must meet before the application is approved. The chief administration officer makes the final decision.

As a result, council voted to defer the request to the administration, who will contact the organizations and ask them to make a formal application under the new policy.

The Barrhead Accessibility Coalition requested a temporary crosswalk be painted in the colours of the disability pride flag on Main Street, crossing 51st Avenue between Scotia Bank and Rocky Mountain Roots, in July to represent Disability Pride Month. 

The Disability Pride flag has five stripes: green, blue, white, gold, and red. Green represents sensory disabilities, blue represents emotional and psychiatric disabilities, white stands for non-visible and undiagnosed disabilities, gold stands for neurodiversity, and red represents physical disabilities.

"The stripes are displayed on a faded charcoal black background, which commemorates and mourns disabled people who've died to ableism, violence, negligence, suicide, rebellion, illness and eugenics," stated the disability coalition. "The dark background also represents rage and protest against the mistreatment of the disabled community."

Disability Pride Month is a time dedicated to celebrating the achievements, contributions, and rights of individuals with disabilities. 

"It is also a month-long opportunity to raise awareness, foster inclusivity and advocate for a more equitable society," the Barrhead Accessibility Coalition stated in its request.

Approval and weather permitting, the crosswalk will be painted on June 23.

The Barrhead Royal Canadian Legion request did not include a date, location or description for their memorial crosswalk; it included an Ontario community newspaper article on what such a crosswalk would look like.

However, in other communities, it is usually painted sometime in October to be in place for November's Act of Remembrance to honour veterans.

The municipality painted the crosswalk in red and white stripes in the newspaper article. As for location, it would be one of the other sides of the Main Street and 51st Avenue intersection of the four-way stop.

Other communities have incorporated the poppy in the design, but the Royal Canadian Legion, which holds the copyright on the poppy image, discourages it for crosswalks as it is considered disrespectful to walk on the image of a poppy.

Barry Kerton,

Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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