End of rainbow crossing decried on social media

Cover-up: the rainbow pedestrian crossing is no more. Photo: Dallas KilponenSydney awoke to the end of the rainbow on Thursday, and those who took to social media overwhelmingly decried it as a golden opportunity wasted.

More than 600 people were talking about the issue on Facebook on Wednesday, with more comments flooding Twitter as the government defended the decision to remove the landmark overnight.

“I think the rainbow crossing being taken down was foolish. It could have been a great tourism/political statement for Sydney. Shame,” said @DavidCampbell73.

Melbourne-based @malvage also took to Twitter to share the sentiment: “Last trip to Sydney I missed out on the giant duck in the harbour; next one I’ll be missing out on the #rainbowcrossing Disappointing.”

The “Save the Rainbow Crossing” Facebook page, which attracted more than 500 supporters, documented its Wednesday night removal. A series of photos showed the pedestrian barriers and work crews moving in before the colours disappeared under a fresh layer of asphalt.

“So sooo sad and unfair! Not to mention the waste of the tax payer money,” said one commenter, Susana Moris.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay, who cited safety concerns in ripping up the paintwork installed temporarily for Mardi Gras, drew much of the online fire.

“Painting the rainbow black symbolises exactly what Duncan Gay and like-minded MPs are doing to Sydney … Filthy,” said @duongdustin.

“Colours on a road pose a safety risk. Shooters in National Parks don’t. NSW today,” said @journeytime.

@lizknits99: “Imagine if The borough in London ripped up the crossing in Abbey Road because it was a safety risk.”

Only one of 246 pictures on Instragram that used the “rainbowcrossing” hashtag showed images of people lying down on the Oxford Street landmark.

But @DigitalMediaBoy reported: “Twice during the #rainbowcrossing trial I saw 1 tourist & 1 Aussie lie down on rd during green light. I want x’ing too but…”

The crossing debate, which attracted international attention, also prompted at least one overseas call for Taylor Square pedestrians disgruntled by the decision to wait for the signal, cross, and now move on.

“I need Sydney-based volunteers who are willing to smack sense into people mourning the rainbow loss on my behalf,” New York-based @mostlyFilth said.

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