Rainbow crossing for LGBTQIA+ district

The City of Cape Town mayoral committee members about to walk over the rainbow pedestrian crossing.

The City of Cape Town has decorated a pedestrian crossing on Somerset Road in rainbow colours, the universal symbol of the LGBTQIA+ community.

A pink lane runs along the pavement of Somerset Road, beginning at the intersection with Liddle Street and continuing up Dixon, Waterkant, and Rose Street to the intersection with Strand Street.

Ward 115 councillor Ian MacMahon, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, and mayoral committee member for urban mobility, Rob Quintas took a walk along the pink strip to the rainbow-coloured pedestrian crossing.

“Cape Town is known for its vibrant LGBTQIA+ nightlife and community. We want all to feel welcome in our city where we embrace diversity and the addition of this bold pedestrian crossing to our road network will help spread this message. It also speaks to innovation in public spaces and support for public art that we’d like to foster,’ said Mr Hill-Lewis.

According to Mr Quintas, the markers are a tribute to the LGBTQIA+ community, and the City recognises the location as a historical LGBTQIA+ heritage precinct.

“The pink strip is a precinct marker for this historic district and it creates a meander, you can start at one end and get to to the other going past restaurants, nightclubs, cabarets bars and so on.”

Mr McMahon came up with the idea in 2018, presented it to the mayor’s office after the pandemic lockdowns and received approval.

“We hope that this will be a catalyst to bring more people back into the area and to establish this as Cape Town’s gay village again, so it was important to link the venues with the pink stripe that links all the pink friendly venues,” said Mr McMahon.

“The traditional rainbow flag you see here was part of the Gay Pride movement and it’s great to have it here and we join 30 other cities in the world that have this as well,” he said.

Mr McMahon says that other precincts may get street art as well but it will focus on what is unique to that area.

The City of Cape Town mayco members followed the pink strip.