San Francisco

Silicon Valley's First Rainbow Crosswalk Celebrates LGBTQ Community

Silicon Valley’s first rainbow colored sidewalk is now splashed across a main drag in San Jose, and is a celebratory nod to the city’s gay and lesbian community.

While San Francisco and Sacramento already have Rainbow Crosswalks, the red-orange-yellow-green-blue-purple stripes along The Alameda are a first for the Bay Area’s largest city.

The colorful crosswalk was painted purposely in front of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center, celebrating its 35th anniversary this spring.

A 2015 Gallup poll indicated that San Francisco has the highest concentration of lesbian and gay people, while San Jose has one of the smallest, about half the size of San Francisco's per capita. In San Francisco, 6.2 percent of those surveyed identified as LGBTQ, and in San Jose, just 3.2 percent did. Birminham, Alabama had the least amount, with only 2.6 percent identifying as LGBTQ.

The center gave credit to its “heroes,” the Department of Transportation workers for stripping off the white lines and replacing them with rainbow hues, as well as project leaders Kenny Brager and Jose Avelos, as well as Ed Vodegel, and Ennis-Flint paint company.

DeFrank board president Gabrielle Antolovich thanked Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager for his support, and a big shout out to Mayor Sam Liccardo who embraced the Rainbow Crosswalk idea and inspired city councilmembers to donate toward it to pay for it.

The Mercury News reported that the project was paid for by funds donated from every city district, and is expected to cost $11,000 to $15,000.

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