June 24, 2020 at 4:02 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
D.C. to install rainbow crosswalk near Dupont Circle
A rainbow crosswalk will be painted at the intersection of 17th and P Streets, N.W., on Thursday. (Image courtesy of the Office of the Mayor)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Tuesday that in honor of the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride Month, the city’s Department of Transportation would install “rainbow-colored bands” at the intersection of 17th and P Streets, N.W. near Dupont Circle.

The mayor’s announcement said the installation would take place at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 25, weather permitting.

John Falcicchio, the mayor’s chief of staff, told the Blade the rainbow-colored bands would consist of a “permanent rainbow crosswalk installation” to be painted on the street.

“While we wish we could have celebrated this month at our annual Capital Pride Parade, we hope this artwork will serve as a reminder of our D.C. values of promoting inclusivity and equality for all our residents,” Bowser said in a statement. “Particularly on the heels of last week’s historic Supreme Court decision, DC will continue to be on the front lines in defending and promoting the rights of our LGBTQ community,” she said.

“Colors from Daniel Quasar’s Progress Flag, an updated design incorporating the representation of transgender and LGBTQ people of color, will be installed on Thursday, June 25, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., at the intersection of P Street and 17th Street, N.W., weather permitting,” the mayor’s announcement says.

“This installation honors the District’s LGBTQ community and the rich history and diversity of our city,” said Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian, who is one of Bowser’s high-level LGBTQ appointees. “We are thrilled to support Mayor Bowser in commemorating this very special occasion and adding more art to public space,” Marootian said in the statement.

The statement says the transportation department expects to do similar installations at additional intersections along 17th Street, N.W. later this summer.

“The inclusive design of this art installation is a reflection of Mayor Bowser’s steadfast commitment to ensuring that all voices in our community are elevated,” said Sheila Alexander-Reid, director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs in the statement.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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