The Rainbow Crossing in Wimbledon Returns With A New Look
After a short break the rainbow crossing design on Oxford Street in Wimbledon Town Centre has returned with a slightly different design. The crossing has strong ties with the local LGBTIQ community, but it has also become a symbol of thanks to emergency services during Covid-19, and of inclusion in the Armed Forces.
It is the first permanent rainbow crossing present on a military establishment in the world. The crossing has been delivered by Merton Council and Love Wimbledon BID in partnership with RAF Brize Norton, and was unveiled on Wednesday 31 March – Transgender Visibility Day.
Colors of Inclusivity: The Symbolism and Beauty of Rainbow Crossings
The crossing is one of five painted rainbows on Karangahape Road, aimed at highlighting the area’s diverse community and encouraging people to be aware that they are safe on this busy pedestrian crossing. The installation follows a long-term campaign by local groups and businesses to make the intersection more visible to passers-by.
A similar initiative drew attention in Philadelphia, where the rainbow crossing on 12th and Locust streets first appeared in 2015, just prior to the Supreme Court decision legalising same-sex marriage. Tami Sortman, then president of the Philly Gay Tourism Caucus and now the manager of the Washington Square West Civic Association, was part of that original project.
There is also a light rail bridge in Tempe Town, Arizona (USA), that changes to a rainbow display when trams are passing over it. And in Seattle, the U.S., there is a rainbow-striped pedestrian crossing that ‘signals inclusivity year-round’.