Federal Highway Administration Bureaucrat Says Rainbow Crosswalks Are a Liability

An administrator for the Kentucky division of the Federal Highway Administration informed the city of Lexington that its rainbow crosswalk does not meet federal safety standards.

1 minute read

November 22, 2017, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Vancouver, British Columbia

Anita Hart / Flickr

Jack Brammer and Beth Musgrave report: "The Federal Highway Administration wants Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to remove a rainbow-themed crosswalk in downtown Lexington that was installed to promote diversity, saying it poses a legal liability to the city."

Thomas L. Nelson Jr., administrator for the Kentucky division of the Federal Highway Administration in Frankfort, wrote a two-page letter to Mayor Gray, which includes a pronouncement that "rainbow-themed crosswalks and other forms of crosswalk art are not compliant with federal standards," according to the article. The text of the letter reads as follows:

Allowing a non-compliant pavement marking to remain in place presents a significant liability concern for LFUCG (Lexington Fayette Urban County Government) in the event of a pedestrian/vehicle collision….It also creates potential confusion for motorists, pedestrians and other jurisdictions who may see these markings and install similar crosswalk treatments in their cities.

Brammer and Musgrave attempted to follow up with Nelson and the FHA public affairs office in Washington "about what the federal government would do if Lexington keeps the rainbow crossing and what the FHA is doing about rainbow crossings in several other U.S. cities," but hadn't heard a response.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in Lexington Herald Leader

View down New York City alleyway at nighttime

Red Cities, Blue Cities, and Crime

Homicides rose across the nation in 2020 and 2021. But did they rise equally in all cities, or was the situation worse in some than in others?

March 12, 2023 - Michael Lewyn

babyt Boomer Homeowners

The Shifting Boomer Bulge: More Bad News for America’s Housing Crisis?

In the first of a two-part series, PlaceMakers’ Ben Brown interviews housing guru Arthur C. Nelson on the sweeping demographic changes complicating the housing market.

March 12, 2023 - PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

Yellow on black "Expect Delays" traffic sign

A Serious Critique of Congestion Costs and Induced Vehicle Travel Impacts

Some highway advocates continue to claim that roadway expansions are justified to reduce traffic congestion. That's not what the research shows. It's time to stop obsessing over congestion and instead strive for efficient accessibility.

March 14, 2023 - Todd Litman

Washington D.C. Protest

IPCC Report: The World Is Running Out of Time on Climate Change

The planet is not doing enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent report published by the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

March 20 - International Panel on Climate Change

A view of the Boise skyline, across tress int he foreground. The state capitol is visible amongst other office buildings.

Skyline-Defining High-Rise Potentially Coming to Boise

A rendering making the rounds in Boise depicts a 40-story apartment building that would be taller than all other buildings in one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.

March 20 - Boise Dev

Interior of Tesla car with driver holding hands off wheel in 'full self-driving' mode

Buttigieg: Tesla ‘Autopilot’ Marketing ‘A Concern’

The USDOT secretary says marketing doesn’t fall under his department’s investigative authority, but expressed disapproval of language that implies autonomous operation.

March 20 - Bloomberg

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.