After the Mardi Gras organisers and the gay community campaigned to keep it permanent, the iconic rainbow crossing on Oxford Street at Sydney has been eventually ripped off.
Duncan Gay, NSW roads minister, ordered its removal because the colourful artwork has become a road hazard as pedestrians pose to have their pictures taken, either seated or lying on back on the crossing, according to a report by an audit commissioned by the City of Sydney.
The City of Sydney Council wanted to make the icon permanent as its popularity surged among locals and foreigners, as well as it deemed expensive to shell out $30,000 just to remove it. The city council had been granted an approval to extend its application on the crossing for a month, which has already ended.
"The crossing was not removed as planned leaving me with no option but to act in the interests of pedestrian and road safety and direct RMS to carry out the removal," Mr Gay said in a statement.
"I want to make this very clear, this trial crossing was a goodwill gesture extended to Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Community to honour the 35th anniversary of Mardi Gras."
"This is a matter of road and pedestrian safety which has no association whatsoever with my respect for the history and community of Oxford Street."
He noted even the city council's own safety audit recorded 17 incidents in a month, which showed CCTV cameras capturing people sitting and laying on the crossing.
"It has set off alarm bells at the high risk of injuries and fatalities,' the minister said.
On 10pm on Wednesday night, Mr Gay's team of workers started to grind the colourful asphalt.
"It's a shame to see a bright rainbow covered by a dirty old tarmac," Nancy Goymerac from Burwood told the Herald Sun.
"It takes them forever to fix up pot holes but this that hurts nobody is taken away straight away."
Nicholas Dewinter, who even personally went to the scene to witness the removal of the rainbow stripes, could only heave a sigh.
"It's awful. I signed the petition and rang the minister but now they're destroying it," Mr Dewinter said.
"I heard about the people laying on it which wouldn't have helped but it's still sad to see this."
Just as there were people who were saddened by the demise of the rainbow artwork, there were some who supported the move of Mr Gay.
"I've never seen a crossing cause so much mayhem," Craig Levick of Surry Hills said.
"I've been one of those nuts that lay on the road. There are many people laying on it, a guy was almost hit by a bus the other day."
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