Campaign begins to bring rainbow crosswalks to Hillcrest

SAN DIEGO - Pedestrians crossing streets in the Hillcrest area may soon be doing a double take if a unique proposal goes through.

"Anytime we take on a project to improve the neighborhood, we try to brand the neighborhood as well," said Ben Nichols, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association.

Nichols has launched a campaign to bring the rainbow colors to a crosswalk at Normal Street and University Avenue.

Two years ago, in West Hollywood, two rainbow-colored crosswalks were put in. A month ago, a rainbow crosswalk was installed in Vancouver, Canada

Now, San Diego may be next.

"We want to create a sense of place here," said Nichols. "It'll bring color and energy, but it'll also speak to the diversity and welcoming nature of Hillcrest."

"I just think it would be a colorful way to represent the community," said Alice Williams, a frequent visitor to the area.

Others like Hillcrest resident Sybil Shipley wonder if the money might be better spent elsewhere.

"It just seems like a waste of money," said Shipley.

The cost of the project could run about $20,000 for the installation, but it is expected to be funded by private donations.

"Some might argue this is not the best use of money," 10News reporter Michael Chen asked Nichols.

"I think it is the best use of money because it's our job to make the area beautiful and attractive for customers," Nichols replied.

Nichols said the area near the flag is becoming a gathering place, and the crosswalk would add to it.

"Then we turn into in a hub, and that's good for business," said Nichols.

The Hillcrest Business Association will look at the issue in a week, and if approved, the plan will be sent to the city to be considered.

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