Tucson residents ask whether Rainbow Crosswalk is worth the cost - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Tucson residents ask whether Rainbow Crosswalk is worth the cost?

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Some Tucsonans question the cost-effectiveness of the newly installed Rainbow Crosswalk in town.

"I think it's actually very beautiful,” said David Morales.

One of Morales’ concerns deals with the transparency of cost.

"It could have been presented as something that the community paid for. And just saying hey, this is something that the city helped to buy. All the taxpayers had a part in this so can come out and celebrate,” Morales said.

The project cost $68,000, according to Fred Ronstadt, executive director of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association.

Ronstadt said a bulk of the funds came from the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association and Speeding Striping, which is the company that installed the Rainbow Crosswalk.

Ronstadt noted City of Tucson’s Ward 3 supplemented $12,500 of previously budgeted funds.

"The (Tucson) city council had a public meeting and discussion about this item and voted on it unanimously. We've never hidden anything,” Ronstadt said.

Mark Spear, who represents Tucson Traffic Justice, said he’s not completely sold on the crosswalk’s design.

Spear added he’s been struggling to get answers related to procurement and engineering details.

"They really need to show that it's done cost effectively and it'll hold up. If you put it down and the first thing it does is get torn up in the first 30 days it's not going to be a very good project," Spear said.

Keeping optimistic, Ronstadt emphasized one of the goals is to attract more people to the Old Pueblo.

"In the big picture, this a small amount of money to invest in a very important piece of public art that demonstrates who we are as a community. I think the value is going to be seen over time,” Ronstadt said.  

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