WESTFIELD, NJ — A popular rainbow crosswalk painted in Downtown Westfield last year will soon be repainted so that it can become a permanent fixture on Quimby Street, a councilwoman said.

The initiative in Westfield followed rainbow crosswalks painted in Maplewood permanently in 2018.

Photos posted to social media Wednesday morning showed workers removing the walk, work that Councilwoman Dawn Mackey said is in preparation for the crosswalk’s repainting.

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She told TAPinto Westfield that the white lines of the crosswalk were past their useful life when Westfield High School students painted the rainbow coloring last year. Mackey said the repainting is anticipated to happen in the next two weeks.

Last month, the town council had approved Westfield Public Arts Commission monies to fund the repainting with a “thermoplastic technique.”

“The crosswalk was in very bad shape when it was painted by the kids last year,” said Mackey, who is the council’s representative to the arts commission. “So, it was only meant to be a trial to see how it would work out, and it’s been very well-received.”

The crosswalk, she said, will be installed in time for planned reopening of Quimby Street as a pedestrian plaza, she said.

Students from Westfield High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance and the school’s literary arts magazine, Folio, had painted the walk at the intersection of Quimby and Elm streets in June 2020.

The crosswalk is located in front of the restored Flatiron building, now home to the clothing store J. McLaughlin, and across the street from pastel painted buildings on Elm Street.

The initial effort students spearheaded for LGBTQ Pride Month was also a nod to rainbows seen displayed around Westfield during the early months of the pandemic as a symbol of hope during lockdown, officials said.

The high visibility walk, officials said, is in line with a series of recommendations in a 2019 plan recommending traffic-calming measures throughout the municipality.

 

 

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