Kitimat will have its own Rainbow Crosswalk as soon as repairs to the roadway in the upper City Centre mall parking lot have been completed.
District of Kitimat technical services manager Wayne Sussbauer said prior to the Rainbow Crosswalk being painted, the asphalt surface needed repairs before painting could proceed.
“This section was added to the District’s asphalt mill and pave program and has now been milled out and awaits paving,” said Sussbauer.
He added that once the paving has been done, at least two weeks’ curing will be required before painting can commence.
“The line painting firm has been given the go ahead and has ordered the paint. Our expectation is to complete the painting by the end of August,” said Sussbauer.
Council decided in June to go ahead with the painting of the crosswalk over an existing crosswalk and to partner with the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce and the Tamitik Status of Women (TSW) to secure financial support for the rainbow crosswalk conversion.
DoK Chief Administrative Officer Warren Waycheshen said the initial plan was to paint a Rainbow Crosswalk over Tsimshian Boulevard, between the upper City Centre Mall parking lot and Centennial Park, over the existing crosswalk, and to have it done before Canada 150 celebrations.
It was discovered at the time, however, that the design that the Chamber and TSW had in mind didn’t adhere to standards outlined in the B.C. Manual of Standard Traffic Markings. Their design consisted of rainbow colour stripes running parallel with pedestrian flow, without white crosshatches (the big white blocks painted in a line perpendicular to the sidewalk).
Weycheshen said because the crossing on Tsimshian is an uncontrolled crossing on a higher speed road, it required the interspersed white lines.
Council reviewed the costs and decided to go ahead with installing just one of the crosswalks, to paint over the mall parking lot crosswalk nearest to Tsimshian.
The cost of removing the existing white lines, painting two white boundary lines and filling in the rainbow colours is $1,640.25.
Weycheshen said as the crosswalk is in a low traffic area, it would only need to be repainted every two years, at the same cost plus inflationary increases.
TSW was approached by a community youth group who were willing to contribute $1,000 towards the project, while the Chamber secured another $1,100 from Kitimat businesses.
DoK staff also consulted City Centre Mall and MStar Hotel owner Jerry Minni to discuss any potential impact the changes would have on his business interests. Minni supported the decision to install the crosswalk closest to Tsimshian Boulevard, as opposed to the proposed crosswalk closer to the mall entrance.