Federal Official Tells Lexington Mayor Rainbow Crosswalk is a Safety Hazard

Nov 15, 2017

Credit Stu Johnson, WEKU News

An official with the federal government wants the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, to remove a rainbow-colored crosswalk because he says the gesture honoring the LGBT community is a safety hazard. 

Thomas Nelson is the Kentucky division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration.

He sent a letter to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray this week, saying that while the agency recognizes that the crosswalk art was well-intended, it distracts drivers because it is designed to "draw the eye" instead of "commanding the attention."

The city installed the sidewalk art earlier this year to coincide with an annual gay pride festival. Other cities, including Atlanta, have rainbow-colored crosswalks.

A 2013 ruling from the Federal Highway Administration said "subdued-colored" crosswalks are permissible, including bricks and stones in red, rust or brown-type colors.