Oxford Street is the focus of the world’s largest night time GLBT celebration – the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade.
This week Council endorsed Lord Mayor, Clover Moore's proposal to paint rainbow crossings on Oxford Street at Taylor Square and Whitlam Square to mark next year’s 35th anniversary of Mardi Gras.
"Apart from a visual acknowledgement of the significance of Oxford Street to the GLBT community, the Rainbow Flag project will brighten the strip and promote it as a ‘must-see’ destination for visitors.
The City celebrates Oxford Street’s GLBT character and heritage by regularly flying rainbow banners in support of significant community events and festivals; through our extensive support for the Mardi Gras Parade and Festival and our historic Oxford Street walking tour brochure.
The rainbow flag, together with the pink triangle, is firmly established as an internationally recognised GLBT symbol."
In 2012, the City of West Hollywood, home to one of the largest GLBT communities in the United States, installed a similar rainbow pattern on the road as a temporary measure to promote Gay Pride month in 2012. It has since become a permanent installation to celebrate the City’s GLBT character and promote it as a leading tourist destination – the crossing has become a must visit icon itself.
The Rainbow Flag project will also contribute to the City’s commitment to the revitalisation of Oxford Street, which has included making space available in the City’s properties for creative enterprises and encouraging other property owners to do the same and support for a range of events and activities in the area.
The project will need the approval of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), as the major crossings are on a State road. RMS has indicated approval is likely to be granted, if they are initially installed on a trial basis with a full risk evaluation undertaken
The City will invest around $75,000 to make the project happen, including designs, road safety audits and installation.