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Phuket’s Iconic Rainbow Crosswalks Replaced Amid Safety Concerns: A Tale of Pride and Precaution

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As the night fell over Phuket, the Division of Public Works staff rolled up their sleeves and got to work on a task tinged with a splash of regret and responsibility. The iconic rainbow crosswalks at the Chartered Bank Intersection, beloved during Pride Month, were being transformed back to the standard zebra crossings we all know well. (Photo: Phuket City Municipality)

The jubilant colors that once radiated inclusivity and celebration were becoming a memory, thanks to an unfortunate increase in motorcycle accidents. The rainbow crosswalks, introduced for Pride Month in June, had a fatal flaw—extra width and slippery paint that turned a wet spell into a skid hazard. Deputy Mayor Prasit Sinsaowapak confirmed that these vibrant paths at the Chartered Bank Intersection would soon be replaced with conventional red-and-white zebra crossings.”

Transformation of the crosswalks is no small feat. Starting from Phangnga Road, a backhoe will be used to tear up the colorful pavement, followed by a layer of new asphalt before the traditional pattern is painted. With nightfall as their working window to reduce traffic disruption, the team anticipates it will take four nights to complete the overhaul of all four crosswalks. Motorcyclists are urged to exercise caution during this period, especially when the rain adds an extra layer of danger.

The rainbow crosswalks had debuted with much fanfare for Discover Phuket Pride 2024, an event that took place on June 29. The crosswalks quickly became a beloved landmark, drawing tourists and locals alike, snapping selfies like social media tokens of support for the LGBTQ+ community. However, celebrations turned bittersweet as the accidents accumulated, almost as frequent as the downpours.

It’s not just Phuket making strides to spotlight inclusivity. The cities of Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen are also in the fray, competing to be Thailand’s nominee to host the InterPride World Conference in 2025—a prestigious global LGBTQ+ event. Come Friday, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) will announce its chosen representative.

While these rainbow crosswalks may soon be a bright splash in Phuket’s history, their moment in the spotlight won’t be forgotten easily. They stood as symbols of acceptance and unity, albeit briefly, before the realities of asphalt and precipitation combined forces to bring everyone back to the drawing board. In the wee hours of the morning, amidst the hum of machinery and the buzzing concerns of motorists, one could still sense the echoes of a vibrant community spirit that refuses to be painted over.


  1. John Doe July 11, 2024

    It’s a shame that the rainbow crosswalks are being removed. They were a beautiful symbol of pride and diversity!

    • Samantha July 11, 2024

      I agree, John! But safety has to come first. We can’t ignore the accidents.

      • John Doe July 11, 2024

        True. It’s just disappointing that the paint couldn’t have been made safer.

      • Coder123 July 11, 2024

        Why not just use a different slip-resistant paint? Seems like an easy fix.

    • Lucien July 11, 2024

      You can’t just make compromises with road safety. People could get hurt or even die.

      • Anna L. July 11, 2024

        Exactly, Lucien. While the symbolism is important, it shouldn’t come at the risk of lives.

  2. Grower134 July 11, 2024

    Rainbow crosswalks are stupid anyway. It’s just paint, doesn’t change anything for the LGBTQ+ community.

    • Tracy K. July 11, 2024

      That’s insensitive. Visible signs of support can mean a lot to marginalized groups.

      • Grower134 July 11, 2024

        Real change comes from laws and policies, not from painting the road.

      • Leo T. July 11, 2024

        Symbolism can drive real change. Visibility leads to awareness.

  3. PhuketResident July 11, 2024

    I live close by and I can confirm those crosswalks were dangerously slippery when wet. Better safe than sorry.

    • Mike July 11, 2024

      Thanks for the local perspective. Safety should definitely be the priority.

  4. Marie K. July 11, 2024

    This is really sad. We need more symbols of inclusivity, not fewer.

  5. Leo T. July 11, 2024

    Maybe they can find a safer way to implement these symbols. Innovation is key.

    • Anna L. July 11, 2024

      Agreed. There must be a balance between safety and visibility.

    • Lucien July 11, 2024

      Sometimes practical constraints overshadow good intentions.

  6. Jenna A. July 11, 2024

    Did they really need to remove them? Maybe just adding some sort of non-slip coating could have worked.

  7. Marco P. July 11, 2024

    Sad to see them go, but thank goodness Phuket is considering public safety. Lives matter more.

    • Lucien July 11, 2024

      Couldn’t agree more, Marco. Practicality should always come first.

    • FreedomRider July 11, 2024

      Sure, but they should have tested the paint for safety beforehand. This could have been prevented.

  8. Kayla July 11, 2024

    Maybe there could be an alternative like sidewalk murals. Those won’t interfere with traffic safety.

  9. Jake July 11, 2024

    This seems like a thoughtful compromise if they really want to maintain symbolism without sacrificing safety.

  10. Tracy K. July 11, 2024

    I think Kayla’s idea is brilliant! Sidewalks can still be a platform for pride.

    • Anna L. July 11, 2024

      Yes, that’s a great suggestion! There are always alternatives.

    • John Doe July 11, 2024

      Sidewalks would definitely be safer and still make a statement!

  11. Nate July 11, 2024

    Why not regular zebra crossings that are painted rainbow? Less slippery perhaps?

    • Coder123 July 11, 2024

      It’d probably still be slippery if it’s the same paint. Need better materials or methods.

  12. PhuketResident July 11, 2024

    Or just use better quality paint everywhere. Safety and inclusivity don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

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