Iowa City Has Inclusive, Rainbow Crosswalks and the Feds Want Them Gone

City of Ames, Iowa, has minority-inclusive, rainbow crosswalks 7 photos
Empty parking lotParking maneuverFull parking lotStreet SignBotched parking jobEmpty parking
Communities across the U.S. are making strides towards being more inclusive and progressive, but the line should be drawn at pedestrian crosswalks, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration believes.
In Ames, Iowa, the city council voted on inclusive crosswalks, and they were consequently inaugurated earlier this month. One features gender non-binary pride colors and one pride transgender colors, and they’re meant to show that the community is welcoming LGBTQ+ members with open arms, an attorney for the city tells CBS affiliate KCCI.

The other day, a letter from the FHWA came in, requesting that the crosswalks be erased and replaced with the traditional ones in white paint. With the request, the Administration cites the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, which says that only crosswalks in white paint are allowed. Colored versions or crosswalks that feature art are not compliant and must, as such, be removed.

The city should “take the necessary steps to remove the non-compliant crosswalk art as soon as it is feasible,” the request says.

The city is planning to keep the crosswalks and fight the FHWA if they must, on the grounds that the Administration has no jurisdiction in the area. Plus, the attorney for Ames tells the same media outlet, this is a request only and not a demand. As such, no action is mandatory.

“The FHWA did not have a direct answer to this question, and it appears they are still researching whether they have any regulatory authority in this situation,” Ames officials tell KCCI. “These streets are not part of a federal highway and these streets receive no federal funding. With the system of federalism in the United States, the federal government does not have jurisdiction over everything.”

Residents seem to love the colored crosswalks as well. They were consulted before the city council vote and they were for the idea. Plus, the FHWA has bigger fish to fry than fretting over a few colored crosswalks, they believe.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories