Wellington’s rainbow crossing

In the capital, we walk the talk when it comes to celebrating diversity.

A group of drag queen performers at the rainbow crossing launch.

We installed a rainbow crossing to show our support for the city’s LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex) community.

Why a rainbow crossing?

The community asked for a rainbow crossing on a number of occasions and it’s one of the ways we’re making the city more pride-friendly. It was installed in the month of October to honour the birth of transgender icon Carmen Rupe. Her silhouette also features on pedestrian signals in Cuba Street.

Rainbow crossings have been installed in many cities internationally including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sydney.

Where is the rainbow crossing?

It is on Cuba Street – the home of New Zealand’s pride movement – at its intersection with Dixon Street. There’s a rainbow-coloured umbrella sculpture next to the rainbow crossing which is a safe spot to take selfies.

What did it cost?

The installation of the crossing and associated costs amounted to $26,844.47 excluding GST. This is within the estimated budget we released in March 2018. 
The breakdown of costs (excluding GST) are:

  • The painting of the crossing itself cost $3,990.
  • Traffic management – including closing Dixon Street and diverting traffic while the installation was underway – cost $11,710. 
  • Security guards were employed at a cost of $2,304 to make sure the rainbow crossing was installed safely in the heart of Wellington’s bustling entertainment district over the weekend of 6 and 7 October 2018.
  • We also took the opportunity to install and upgrade safety features in Dixon Street at a cost of $3,998.61
  • The remaining expenses (security fencing, signage and communication to neighbours) totalled $4,841.86. 

The crossing features a safe ‘selfie spot’ to make sure people can enjoy the crossing while staying safe on what is still a city street. 

We have previously been asked how the rainbow crossing compares to the average cost of installing a standard zebra crossing in the city.  The average cost of installing a zebra crossing could be up to $25,000 depending on what accompanying works are required (for example new kerbing or drainage) and how long the road needs to be closed for the installation to take place. 

However it is important to note that the rainbow crossing is not a zebra crossing. It is an art installation placed on the street between two formal signal controlled crossing points which have not been changed. 

More information

If you have a question about the rainbow crossing and roadworks, call us on 04 499 4444 or email us at info@wcc.govt.nz