In response

I was surprised to read the response to the letters that oppose the rainbow crosswalk from Mr. Pusey, a self-proclaimed advocate of tolerance and acceptance, who launches his arguments with personal attacks on the letter writers. I intend to focus on the issue of a rainbow crosswalk on a public road.

My safety argument cannot be dismissed by condescending cynicism. Anything that deviates from the conventional norms of traffic symbols, signs and colours is a distraction and a potential safety issue. Standardization of traffic symbols is an element of safe traffic management. Belittling the safety concern shows Mr. Pusey doesn't really care about public safety as long as he can make his political statement.

The murals in Vernon were a project undertaken for economic development and revitalization of downtown to attract tourists and shoppers. The murals depict different scenes from the historical progress of Vernon and are not meant to be a representation of persecuted groups or political agendas. Mr. Pusey misses the intention of the mural project when he cherry-picks the mural of the Okanagan Indian Band or the victims of internment camps to support his argument that other persecuted groups have already been recognized. The murals are not a depiction of special interest groups, and neither are crosswalks.

Mr. Pusey offers a solution: "I have no opposition to special interest groups displaying their messages through public works so long as they are not harmful or distasteful."

He is correct in his conclusion: if one group is allowed to display their symbols or messages in public places, other groups should be allowed as well. Mr. Pusey invites other interest groups to display their messages in public areas. Those of us who have travelled abroad have seen this lawlessness in action. A free for all in public spaces invites clutter, garbage, graffiti and vandalism.

Tourists from other countries often comment on how our roads, parks and other public places are well organized, consistent and kept clean. Let's keep it that way and stop the proposed rainbow crosswalk before we open a Pandora's box.

Ulrike Gibbs


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