The City of Bozeman has partnered with the Downtown Bozeman Partnership and Gender Equality Montana by installing new rainbow crosswalks in downtown. The first was installed on Thursday at the corner of Willson Ave & Mendenhall Street.

City Manager Jeff Mihelich says, “The City is proud to partner with Gender Equality Montana and the Downtown Bozeman Partnership on this important project. We continue to make steps forward to make it clear that Bozeman is a safe and welcoming community for all. This city must be a place where anyone, regardless of how they identify themselves, is welcomed and has the opportunity to thrive.”

Many in the community have asked if other local nonprofits will also be given the opportunity to have sidewalks painted to represent their message. One of our XL Country listeners, Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Klewin, wrote to Bozeman City Manager Jeff Mihelich asking him the question.

Hello Jeff!

Just read about Bozeman's rainbow crosswalks to support the LBGTQ community.

Bringing awareness of inclusiveness is always a great thing for our community!
I was not aware this was an option to bring awareness, but glad to see that all groups have an ability to express themselves in Bozeman.

I would like to add two other crosswalk awareness projects and would like to work with you and Downtown Bozeman to bring awareness of the sacrifice of our veterans and those we have lost and the sacrifices of our law enforcement community. There are several local nonprofits that would provide the funding and labor for painting of these crosswalks.

The military and veteran suicide awareness crosswalks would be painted red, white, and blue and have a small "22" inscription to represent the 22 veterans we lose to suicide a day. The law enforcement memorial crosswalk will be alternating blue, black, and white stripes and represent the law enforcement officers lost in Montana.
Please let me know how we need to proceed to make this happen. I can get the groups together to discuss getting this done in the next few months.

Thanks again for making crosswalk awareness available to nonprofits. We are excited to work with you and downtown Bozeman to make this happen.

Regards,
Lt Col Kurt Klewin
Bozeman

Here is the response Kurt received.

Hi Kurt:Thanks for reaching out. I hope you are well.

The current Rainbow Crosswalk project is a result of a cooperative partnership between the City of Bozeman, the Downtown Bozeman Partnership and Gender Equality Montana. This project is the first of its kind for the city, as a result we are still piloting how projects like this can be maintained to our community standards. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to review the sustainability of projects of this type.

We are not actively looking for additional crosswalk projects until we see how the community reacts to the pilot and more importantly for us to assess the impact on pedestrians and motorists. Lastly, we are very interested to see how the painted crosswalks stand up to weather, especially when ice, snow and plow equipment return this winter.

So appreciate your interest in the project! Take care and please feel free to share any observations or comments that you receive from residents.

JM

Jeff Mihelich | City Manager ICMA-CM
City of Bozeman
406-582-2306
jmihelich@bozeman.net

So, it sounds like it's a no for now, but it could change in the future.