Over the summer, Black Lives Matter street murals became a regular part of cityscapes around the world, and now the City of San Jose has announced a plan to continue honoring that tradition by installing a large banner at City Hall.
However, not everyone agrees with the effort as it could mean removing the existing street mural in one San Jose neighborhood.
Painted onto Empire Street Backesto Park in San Jose is the now-familiar slogan of solidarity, “Black Lives Matter.”
Residents who live near the large street mural said they’ve heard about the plan to install a banner at City Hall and they like that. But according to a staff memo to the mayor and city council, the plan includes removing the existing street mural because the federal highway administration prohibits “murals, street artwork, and other painted messages primarily due to traffic safety concerns.”
“The notion that this is like a danger to traffic is the most absurd thing ever,” said one San Jose resident, Shelly. “Because go look at those dozens and dozens of other installations. Are those cities having issues with traffic safety? No.”
A spokesperson for the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs did not have any information about plans to remove the street mural because her department would not be handling that.
She did say that they will announce details of the soon-to-be installed Black Lives Matter banner at City Hall later this month.