ATLANTA, Georgia, July 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The nearly $200,000 price tag for a permanent rainbow crosswalk in Atlanta to commemorate gay pride left citizens questioning whether taxpayer funds were well spent.
A report from NBC affiliate 11Alive said no one the station spoke with seemed to take issue with the pro-homosexual message, but it was the cost that got under most people’s skin.
The announcement was in conjunction with an observance of the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub that took 49 lives.
The intersection is the central point of Atlanta’s gay community. The neighborhood itself had raised money to paint the intersection in rainbow colors in 2015 for Atlanta Pride Week.
Now the city has opted to make the rainbow permanent, emphasizing the rainbows are composed of thermal plastic tiles that will last 10 years and represent just three-tenths of one percent of the city’s transportation budget.
That has not stopped people from scratching their heads over the decision.
The news station asked viewers to weigh in on whether the rainbow crosswalk was worth $196,000 in taxpayers money. A poll on its Facebook page in the first few hours had 77 percent voting “no” compared with just 23 percent saying “yes.” The trend continued in the days after its July 12 posting.
“I say that money should be spent in schools,” one gentleman told the news station when asked about it on the street. “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.”
“It’s $196,000 of taxpayer money,” the correspondent posed to a woman.
“To paint them?” the woman asked.
“Yes,” the reporter replied. “What’s your reaction?”
“How?!” the woman exclaimed. “It’s paint. How is it $196,000?”
“That’s a lot for the paint,” another man stated. “I would have done it for half the money.”
“I don’t see how it costs that much money,” said yet another. “I could see where the money could have gone to better use, paving some of these holes in these roads.”
The Twitter reaction was similar.
“When I lived in Key West, the city did this at a cost of exactly $4K, and the city only paid half of that,” tweeted one user.
“What kinda *&%$#@* paint yall buy?” asked another.
This theme was expressed repeatedly, as yet another stated, “What a waste of money. Someone could have EASILY done that for $1,000.”
And from someone else came this,” Nothing against the crosswalk but where'd they buy the paint? Holy hell I'm moving to Atlanta and opening a Sherwin Willams! High $ paint!
One Twitter user called out the city’s motive, stating, “cost of paint & labor for 1 crosswalk: $196,000 funds not spent on actually helpful municipal services: $196,000 Propaganda value: Priceless.”
Atlanta did not install the first permanent gay pride rainbow crosswalk in the U.S., according to the report. At least eight other cities beat the city to it, including Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Philadelphia.