OPINION: Mary Poppins traffic lights can be our Castro

SOME of the best photo opportunities when visiting a new region are the small twists on somewhat regular objects.

Oddly-shaped buildings and funny or humorous signs immediately spring to mind, but so does one particular pedestrian crossing in San Francisco.

Any trip to the Golden Gate Bridge's home is not complete without a short mission to The Castro to take a photo or 20 of the rainbow crosswalks.

The Rainbow crosswalk at The Castro, San Francisco.
The Rainbow crosswalk at The Castro, San Francisco.

The Castro is well-known as one of the world's most prominent symbols for LGBTIQ activisim, and in 2014 the city spent a reported $37,400 to install the designs.

It's one of the simplest ideas that not only represents the region in which it is found, but attracts (or forces) tourists from across the world to visit the intersection.

The Rainbow crosswalk at The Castro, San Francisco.
The Rainbow crosswalk at The Castro, San Francisco.

I was one of those tourists last year, and that experience leaves little doubt Mary Poppins-inspired traffic lights can work.

Councillor Paul Truscott will put forward a motion at the next council meeting to have five of the Heritage City's pedestrian crossing lights in the CBD changed to figures of Mary Poppins.

At an initial cost of $30,000, the Lennox, Ellena, Adelaide, Kent, Bazaar and Richmond St intersections will not only provide tourists numerous photo opportunities, but lead them to the Mary Poppins museum.

It's relatively cheap, it takes very little effort, and the lights carry enormous potential as a tourist attraction by themselves - a smart, cheap investment.

While LGBTIQ and Mary Poppins are wildly different topics, there is no denying the connection and history P.L. Travers' creation shares with Maryborough can be compared to the connection and history of LGBTIQ activism in San Francisco's Castro District.

The only thing I disagree with is the number of traffic lights to suit the new-look.

Do you think Maryborough should install the Mary Poppins themed lights?

This poll ended on 09 April 2017.

Current Results

Yes; it's a great proposal for the town and will make us stand out.

65%

No; it's a waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere.

34%

I don't know.

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

In this case, less is more, and there is an opportunity to use some of those extra few dollars towards other similarly-themed projects.



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