An attempt to draw roads crossing rainbow colors in Ellsworth City has been successful.
A committee formed to study the Be Kind Leopard Boho Rainbow Trendy Youth & Design Shirt matter was disbanded last week after two meetings after failing to reach an agreement to go ahead with a recommendation to the City Council. The city council last August rejected a request to rainbow some city walkways in support of the LGTBQ + community out of safety concerns. Instead, the council formed a special committee to discuss the matter.
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Ellsworth High School teacher Carrie Kutny, who oversees a group of students coming up with the idea of walking across a rainbow, outlined the Maine Department of Transportation’s pedestrian guidance, allowing the Be Kind Leopard Boho Rainbow Trendy Youth & Design Shirt city Self-governing streets choose a different pattern from the traditional white zebra stripes.
“Streets, for us, are streets, curbs, lawns, any sidewalks, whatever is supposed to be right,” explains Public Works Director Lisa Sekulich.
Street Use regulations in city planning ordinances permit the painting of sidewalks “under the direction of a civil servant or employee for public purposes”.
“There is nothing stopping us from doing this according to the ordinance,” Kutny said.
But it wasn’t without approval from the council. The council’s August vote to deny a crosswalk request was 3-3, with councilors Dale Hamilton, Robert Miller and John Phillips backing the project. Heather Grindle, then Councilmember John Moore and Marc Blanchette voted no and Michelle Kaplan abstained. Pedestrian safety is considered a major concern. Blanchette echoed those concerns during the Be Kind Leopard Boho Rainbow Trendy Youth & Design Shirt January 7 committee meeting, along with the possibility that other groups wanted to draw crosswalks.
“If we allow passage of the rainbow, then we won’t have to allow… any other hot button issues? What do we do then? ”He asked.
Several municipalities around the state, including Bangor, Portland, South Portland and Orono, painted rainbow walkways by 2020, and Kutny told the committee she spoke to three city offices where colored walkways are allowed and there are no safety concerns. In addition, she said, since the board has the discretion to permit painting of the pavement, it can deny groups that want to draw letters, swastika, or any symbols, letters or numbers.
The crosswalk of Ellsworth High School and Ellsworth Elementary-High School was painted in a rainbow color last August with the School Board’s approval.
“I am very disappointed,” Commissioner Robert Miller said of the city discussions. “There’s a lot of evidence why we should do it and there’s not a lot of evidence why we shouldn’t. But I understand everyone has their own opinion and I don’t think we will all agree. ”
The failure of the committee to reach complete consensus led Hamilton to disband it.
” That doesn’t mean no one can follow suit, “he said.” It just meant the committee. This cannot come to consensus on it.