In a Drumheller Regular Council Meeting on Monday (April 8), a request for a decision was presented to the council to approve changes to their flag, pole banner, and decorative crosswalk policy. 

Back in March, citizens of Drumheller were concerned after issues arose regarding the Pride Crosswalk located by Drumheller Town Hall. 

Some residents were concerned that the town wanted to remove the crosswalk, and the council was accused of not being inclusive and received backlash from several LGBTQ+ activists on social media. 

On the following March 11 Committee of the Whole Meeting, Drumheller Mayor Health Colberg expressed that there was a miscommunication and that the council had no intention to ban the crosswalk. 

It was decided that the administration needed to review the bylaw and provide information about the costs of maintenance and repairs for the crosswalk. 

During the meeting last week, Drumheller Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Darryl Drohomerski presented the final draft of Policy INF-C-01, which would remove the “Decorative Crosswalk” and instead implement the idea of a “Decorative Trail." 

“The section in the policy has been changed to Decorative Trails to reflect the location that all parties believe will allow for proper maintenance of the decorative designs and showcase a location where multiple applicants can share a uniform space. This is consistent with many municipalities that have moved away from designs on heavily trafficked streets that quickly wear out,” it states in the request for decision. 

Instead of a crosswalk, a 20-meter-long strip of asphalt trail that can be painted with designs has been proposed to allow for better wear resistance in the finished area. 

It seems that Drumheller isn't the only town that wants to move away from crosswalks. 

“Crosswalks tend to get a lot of use and abuse, and most municipalities aren’t using crosswalks anymore; they’re trying to get them off of roadways and onto sidewalks and murals,” Drohomerski said. 

According to Drohomerski, the council had met with community members to discuss potential options for decorative displays that would be able to last longer. 

“We have identified an area in Midland near the hospital where there is very good asphalt that can have paint applied to it that will last for at least a year at a time,” Drohomerski said.

To foster inclusivity in the community, Drumheller Council is looking at dividing up the 20-meter strip of asphalt and separating it into 12 or 13 different panels, where members of the community can apply to design a specific panel to represent as many different groups of people in Drumheller as possible. 

Councilor Patrick Kolafa agreed with the rest of the council and thanked community members who provided their opinions. 

“I hope this reaffirms council support for diversity and the strength of our community,” said Kolafa. 

Once the policy is in place, requests for the 20-meter portion of asphalt will be made through Drohomerski, and once approved, information will be posted on the town's website. 

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