Taxpayer-funded propaganda

Atlanta has installed “rainbow” crosswalks at one of its intersections… at a price of $196,000:

In 2015, the largely gay community at 10th and Piedmont raised money to paint the intersection, stretching across the heart of Midtown, as a sign of unity during Atlanta Pride Week.

This year, the city decided to make it permanent, announcing the decision on the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub massacre. City confirmed Monday the new crosswalks cost the city $196,000 to install and would last 10 years…

To be clear, the crosswalk is actually made up of thermoplastic tiles, not paint. And while they did cost $196,000 to install, that cost actually makes up 0.3 of 1 percent of the city’s transportation budget. Plus, they’re expected to last for 10 years before any heavy maintenance is required.

If others raised money for this artistic propaganda, why did the city have to spend money to ‘make it permanent?’  As the story points out, people expressed concern about the cost (73% against the cost, according to the station’s poll), but not over what the project symbolizes.  Guess all this propaganda is having the desired effect.  I doubt, however, the city will really get 10 years out of this.  Few aspects of any municipal roads last that long.  (Note how the last paragraph quoted above goes out of its way to minimize the cost of this kowtowing.)

This begs the question: if the city is willing to foot the expense of fancy-sounding marked-up “thermoplastic tiles” to make gays feel better and ‘more accepted,’ then why not other groups?  It would seem the equal protection clause of the Constitution could mean the city is now on the hook to create expensive crosswalks to commemorate, say, the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, or any other aggrieved group.

Cities need to remain neutral, neither hindering nor promoting such groups.  But that won’t happen, because today virtue-signaling is more important than anything else… including fiscal responsibility.  Enjoy paying your taxes, Atlanta residents!

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