The Real Reason Why We Should Keep Sydney's Rainbow Crossing

The Rainbow Crossing at Oxford Street is kind of a big deal at the moment. It was initially painted on the street as part of the Mardi Gras celebrations and apparently it's going to cost a fair amount of money to get rid of it. Many people have asked the question: why bother spending money to clean it up? Why not just leave it?

Over 12,000 people have signed a petition to leave the road as is, and the move has the support of several MPs. Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich called it an "iconic tourist attraction", but Roads Minister Duncan Gay has claimed it's dangerous. It's a fair point — tourists want photographs taken on the crossing, which makes the whole cars using the road thing a bit of an issue.

But seriously, what would you do tourists, how would you react, if you were taking a harmless picture of yourself and Mario, Yoshi, and the rest of the Mario Kart gang drifted your arse into oblivion. What would you do?

The above pic was by 2fewDjs and uploaded onto Reddit today and it is genius. Absolute genius. Head there and upvote this bad boy — bravo!


    How is this dangerous exactly? Stupid people will stand around and take photos on it? Stupid people will find some other way to get run over anyway. I’m a little tired of always catering to the lowest common denominator.

      its on oxford st. a very busy main road. idiots holding up traffic so they can take a picture would be dumb & also unsafe.

      same reason the abbey rd crossing was moved.

        The Abbey Rd crossing has never been moved, though there was some conjecture about it a few years ago. Pretty sure it was worked out that nothing was moved at all.

          it was moved. only about 30m down the road, but yeah... its not where it once was because of people holding up traffic (or at least thats the reason I was told).

      I think the primary safety concern is that some drivers may not know what it means. As a general rule, we don't paint meaningless/unique things on the road.

      I don't think its a safety thing though. This is a high volume road that can't really cope with tourists slowing down traffic to get a photo. There's nowhere for overflow to spill.

        Can't see how it would slow down traffic, unless cars have started stopping for pedestrians in Sydney now?

          Hahaha. Maybe I was being optimistic.

          But seriously, I see this as a great potential tourist location (like Abby Road), but its the wrong road.

        The only reason it was slightly dangerous was for a period after it was painted, it wan't covered with a non-stick resin, or a finisher, or something like that. At that point it, if it got wet, it could, please note 'could' (italics doesn't work on this browser dammit!! :( )get slippery, but that's it. In reality, it's about as dangerous as a My Little Pony, and just as colourful.

          I'm talking about drivers getting confused about what it means, or gawking at it. Probably not major issues, but I'm just throwing out possible explanations for the RTA's position.

            Sorry, just re-read what I posted, didn't mean to sound like I was having a go. No, there was a pretty unsympathetic article on with some douchebags (either state MPs or local councillors, can't remember) where they attacked the whole thing as a "waste of money" and it being dangerous. You know what is like when they want to whip up engineer some anger from the human filth they call their 'readers'.

            Knew I had the link somewhere:

            Of course it'd be state Liberals compaining and making lame 'danger claims'.

            Last edited 28/03/13 4:42 pm

            Ch9 got in on the negativity too. They have to be good at something I suppose...


      Catering to the lowest common denominator is the reason it took us the best part of 13 years to get a R18+ video game classification.

    man named Gay wants to remove a symbol of gay pride.

    sure, for totally logical & reasonable safety reasons, but still.... I laughed.

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw the irony there

    I hope they keep it, looks cool.

    It cost $80,000 to paint? And will cost $30,000 to remove!?


      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH! I thought the exact same thing. You put it perfectly!

      Traffic control for the duration of painting/drying probably factored in to the cost of it quite a bit. All those staff hours to stand around with a stop sign and to put up some traffic barriers for a day or so at hugely inflated government rates.

    To be fair it's at an intersection to THE main road feeding the eastern suburbs (Bondi, Bondi Junction, Coogee, Clovelly etc etc) 2 lanes going both ways. And its the main artery out of the CBD heading east and south east.

    Traffic is horrendous as it is without gawkers.

    I say they should turn it into a full rainbow road, with flying stars and donkey kong!

    Paint ALL of oxford street in rainbow colours and make the crossings black and white. Problem solved.

      Fond as I am of that idea, I can't imagine they'd enjoy paying for that when they're complaining about the initial cost for the comparatively small patch it covers and the cost of removal. Painting an entire street rainbow couldn't be cheap.

      However given that it's a effectively a tourist attraction and if the whole road was that painted the pedestrian congestion wouldn't be such an issue, it may actually be a more logical decision and the influx of tourists to the area may bring in enough money to offset the cost.

    Stupid Crossing put up by Stupid people for a Stupid Event.
    If Stupid people take Stupid photos of Stupid people on the Stupid Crossing and hold up the traffic? That's why I have a Bull Bar on my vehicle for those Off Beat Stupid photo taking pedestrians (just a nudge is enough)

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