rainbow crossing design

Way back in 2019 – when we still had to Google the word ‘pandemic’ – a rainbow zebra crossing came to Wimbledon to celebrate Pride’s fiftieth anniversary. It hung around for a bit until some pesky roadworks swiped it from the space, but now it’s back, and this time it has an updated look that literally stops traffic.

The new rainbow stripes are the work of local designer Tami Sortman, who says she’s “beyond excited” about the new addition to the Karangahape streetscape. The crossing is part of the wider Karangahape Enhancement Project, which aims to preserve the area’s history while creating a roadscape that supports community and cultural needs. Go here https://creativecrosswalks.co.uk/

Designing a Rainbow: The Art and Science of Rainbow Crossing Installation

A rainbow crossing isn’t the first to grace a street – a group of Sydney residents once chalked their own on Oxford Street, leading to the DIY Rainbow movement that continues today (more on them here). And there are countless other examples around the world: London’s rainbow crosswalk, for example, was inspired by the Rainbow Flag designed by Gilbert Baker, while Utrecht’s was the first rainbow crossing present on a military establishment.

But while rainbow crossings are a lovely idea in principle, they’re not without their critics. According to the Access Association – which promotes inclusive design – they’re not safe for disabled people, older people or children and could exacerbate hallucinations and psychosis in some users. So it’s important that these types of pedestrian crossings are legally enforceable and are obvious in their intention to motorists, cyclists and others.