The Rainbow Crossing in Philadelphia

rainbow crossing design

Decorative Crossing have long been a canvas for expression, and one Philadelphia street corner has become a popular destination. Since the rainbow crossing first popped up on Philadelphia’s iconic Karangahape Road in 2015, many more have been created across the city.

The latest, painted on the sidewalk in front of St Kevin’s Arcade to coincide with Auckland Pride Month, adds a new dimension. The rainbow – in the colours of the Progress Pride Flag, which is a more recent design than the original rainbow flag – aims to emphasise inclusion and progression in the community.

“From Idea to Intersection: The Creative Process Behind Rainbow Crossing Design

In the US, rainbow crossings are becoming more common, and some cities have even adopted a permanent rainbow design. The Washington Post reports that these include the iconic ones in Seattle and Philadelphia, as well as others dotted around the country. The rainbow crossings are designed to signal inclusivity all year round and were commissioned by the city’s Traffic & Safety Signs department, which specialises in thermoplastic street markings such as 25mph legends, 6-inch lane lines and stop bars.

The rainbow crosswalk in Madison is the city’s first permanent rainbow design, and it aims to celebrate LGBTQIA+ residents. It’s also a cultural signifier that the city welcomes its diverse population, according to the university’s arts program administrator. However, rainbow-coloured crossings have been criticised for being unsafe for disabled people, older adults and children, and could exacerbate hallucinatory conditions in those with psychosis. They are also not as safe for pedestrians as traditional black-and-white zebra stripes.