State College

State College paints rainbow sidewalks to celebrate LGBT Pride Month

The State College borough and the Penn State student government teamed up to paint rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of South Allen Street and Calder Way in June.
The State College borough and the Penn State student government teamed up to paint rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of South Allen Street and Calder Way in June. Centre Daily Times, file

There are four crosswalks at the intersection of South Allen Street and Calder Way in downtown State College — and they've been painted the colors of the rainbow.

State College Borough Councilman Dan Murphy said some of his friends and students he works with at Penn State were curious about the possibility after visiting Pittsburgh and Philadelphia earlier this month. June is Pride Month, an observance and celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.

He said the project took about three weeks from idea to implementation — a testament to the State College borough staff and its responsiveness to community requests.

University Park Undergraduate Association's communications director, Liza Buschinski, said in an email that June is the "perfect time" to paint the crosswalks rainbow colors.

"After seeing these crosswalks on social media, we felt that it was vital to bring this idea to the borough to promote inclusivity," Buschinski said. "We hope this inspires equality and acceptance in State College. Our end goal is to make sure that individuals will feel welcomed here no matter their sexual identity, race, ethnicity, etc."

As State College borough's first openly gay elected official, Murphy said the project has personal and political significance to him.

"The visibility, the affirmation and the celebration of my community and our community is really meaningful for me," he said.

Murphy said the borough is exploring the possibility of adding rainbow crosswalks at the intersections of South Allen and College Avenue or South Allen and Beaver Avenue, too, as those are more high-traffic intersections.

He said he's "thrilled" that the idea came to fruition so quickly and that the visibility will be there.

According to a borough press release, the latex-based paint used on the crosswalks is expected to last about a month. But, the borough is researching how to make the rainbow crosswalks permanent.

  Comments