The Blue Mountains council has approved the installation of two Pride crosswalks in the town, with a third possibility to be studied further by staff.
At its committee of the whole meeting on May 16, council gave thumbs up to a staff recommendation to proceed with the installation of two Pride crosswalks – one in downtown Thornbury at Bruce Street North and Highway 26 (Century 21 and New Orleans Pizza crosswalk) and one at Jozo Weider Blvd. and Village Crescent (Blue Mountain Resort main parking area). The budget for each location is not to exceed $10,000.
Council also asked staff to look into a third location for Pride crosswalk near Beaver Valley Community School in Thornbury.
Town staff were able to gather information from neighbouring communities, Collingwood, Meaford, Owen Sound and Wasaga Beach, about the installation of a Pride crosswalk. The town will use Thermoplastic paint, which has a five-year life expectancy.
In addition, the town has received a $2,500 grant for the project from the Blue Mountains Chamber of Commerce and $1,500 from the Rainbow Club of South Georgian Bay.
The staff report on the crosswalks also identified two other locations: Marsh Street and Clark Street in Clarksburg and the crossing at Beaver Valley School on Bruce Street.
Members of council expressed concerns about safety regarding the school and Clarksburg locations.
Councillor Paula Hope urged her colleagues to make the Beaver Valley Community School a priority.
“This is the audience we’re trying to reach,” said Hope, who said it would be a “missed opportunity” to not locate a Pride crosswalk at the school crossing.
CAO Shawn Everitt said town staff would go back to the school for further discussions about possibly using a sidewalk or school property instead of the road crossing.
“The sidewalk idea is a pretty cool option,” said Everitt. “We will work with the school and parent council.”
Council voted 5-0 in favour of proceeding with the Pride crosswalk initiative. Mayor Alar Soever and councillor Jim Uram were absent.