• Madrid pedestrian crossings readied for 23rd June start of World Pride 2017
• Global LGBT festival coincides with 40th anniversary of gay activism in Madrid
Madrid has installed LGBT-friendly pedestrian traffic signals at 72 street crossings in the centre of the city in anticipation of the World Pride 2017 celebrations being hosted in the Spanish capital from 23rd June through 2nd July this year.
The city has spent about $35,000 to replace 288 street crossing lenses at 72 street corners, following the lead of other European cities, including London and Vienna, that display LGBT-friendly streetlights as part of their efforts to show local citizens and global visitors that the cities respect gender diversity.
The Spanish capital’s new pedestrian crossing signals include figures of LGBT couples along with those of single women as well as heterosexual couples and will remain in place and be extended to other areas of the city after the end of the World Price 2017 celebrations. In addition to the street lights, some pedestrian crossings in the city centre have been painted with the rainbow colours that are emblematic of the LGBT-rights movement.
Madrid was chosen in part to host the international World Pride celebrations this year because 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the first marches by gay-rights activists in the city. The global World Pride festival was launched in 2000 in Rome, with subsequent international festivals celebrated in Jerusalem in 2006, London in 2012 and Toronto in 2012. Following Madrid, the next World Pride celebration is slated for 2019 in New York City.