Rainbow crosswalks: Was it worth the price tag?

The big discussion seems to be about taxpayer money.

ATLANTA -- Now that we've learned the cost of the freshly-installed rainbow crosswalks in Midtown, we're getting a lot of reaction from you, the taxpayers in Atlanta.

In 2015, the largely gay community at 10th and Piedmont raised money to paint the intersection, stretching across the heart of Midtown, as a sign of unity during Atlanta Pride Week. 

This year, the city decided to make it permanent, announcing the decision on the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre. City confirmed Monday the new crosswalks cost the city $196,000 to install and would last 10 years. But the price sparked debate among taxpayers who were surprised by the cost.

RELATED | Rainbow crosswalks cost about $196K to install

11Alive's Duffie Dixon went back to the crosswalk Wednesday to talk to some Atlantans. No one she talked to seemed to be against the addition themselves and what they stand for. But they did question whether the money could have been used for something else.

So here are some of the reactions from taxpayers: 

1. "I say that money should be spent in schools. This is stuff that could be spent on educating young people instead of trying to make the city look pretty. Let the young people make the city look pretty, because they're artists and let the taxpayer money go to educating said young people."

2. "I think it's very important to spend the money in this community. It shows pride. This is what its all about. Its where it started and its money well spent."

3. "These four painted crosswalks, $196,000 of taxpayer money. Yeah, seems like you could have done a little better than that, but you know they're pretty."

4. "How? It's paint. How is it 196-thousand dollars?"

5. "I support it. I think they're beautiful and they're a work of art." Q. And the cost, does that bug you? A. "Doesn't bug me."

6. "I don't see how it could cost that much money. I could see where the money could have gone to better use paving some of these holes in the roads in the city."

To be clear, the crosswalk is actually made up of thermoplastic tiles, not paint. And while they did cost $196,000 to install, that cost actually makes up 0.3 of 1 percent of the city's transportation budget. Plus, they're expected to last for 10 years before any heavy maintenance is required. 

11Alive asked the question on our Facebook page: Is it worth the money? As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, about 4,100 people cast a vote, with 77 percent of voters responding with a "no" verses 23 percent saying "yes."

We want to hear from you. Do you think the cost of the rainbow crosswalks are worth it? VOTE NOW in our poll.

PHOTOS | Rainbow crosswalk in Midtown Atlanta

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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