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Wellington is getting a rainbow crossing to celebrate its pride movement

Wellington's Cuba St will be getting a rainbow crossing next month to coincide with the birthday of one of the city's most iconic transgender activists, Carmen Rupe. This follows a campaign by local Wellingtonians that gathered nearly 3000 signatures backing the idea of a rainbow crossing. 

The crossing will be located between the traffic lights at the intersection of Dixon St and Cuba Mall.

Justin Lester says the project has the backing of local businesses, and is also supported by the LGBTQI community. 

"Cuba Street is considered by many to be the spiritual home of Wellington’s pride movement and a rainbow crossing sends a clear, strong, and very public message that Wellington is a city that is tolerant, inclusive and welcoming," he says. 

This comes after a Wellington woman named Melissa Toomey organised a petition for locals to sign backing the idea of a rainbow crossing, which gained nearly 3000 e-signatures.

Lester says that the crossing is step one in the city’s quest to become “more deliberately LGBTQI-friendly.” 

Recently, the Wellington City Council held a Rainbow Hui, bringing together the city's different LGBTQI groups to discuss common issues impacting on their communities. 

“What we are also hearing from the community is that there is a pressing need for a range of initiatives around safe spaces and access to services in the central city, so we will be looking to work with the community, central city businesses and hospitality to make that a reality," he says. 

As well as being a nod to the city's values, the rainbow crossing will also serve a practical purpose. Coloured road markings such as polka dots or rainbows have been shown to make motorists pay more attention to pedestrians, as well as make pedestrians feel significantly happier than a regular intersection with no decorations. 

If the weather permits it (and lets face it, Wellington weather can be unpredictable at the best of times) painting will begin Saturday 6 October and take place over the weekend. 

And for those who want to walk across the crossing to #doitforthegram, there will be marked sign showing where the safest place is for people to take selfies from.

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