Here’s why there are no Pride banners on Broadway

The 2018 Dyke March will bring plenty of rainbows to Broadway

Nobody seemed to notice when the snowflakes didn’t go up around Christmas. But a few readers have asked CHS to check in on a symbol of Pride missing from the Broadway streetscape again this year. There are no Pride banners on the street’s utility poles.

A representative for the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce tells CHS that the nonprofit’s banner program had to be discontinued last year “due to increased costs associated with installation.”

Missing on Broadway (Image: Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce)

“Our rainbow flags have also been severely weather damaged and need to be replaced,” the rep writes. “The Broadway (Business Improvement Area) is looking into re-establishing the banner program for Pride month in 2019.”

The chamber’s banner program was revived a few years ago with seasonal banners, snowflakes and rainbow flags on Broadway. The banners didn’t go up last summer. No holiday snowflakes, either.

Fortunately, the group isn’t the only source of Pride decoration on the Hill. Most businesses and many homes are again flying rainbow flags. And there are always Pike/Pine’s rainbow crosswalks installed in time for Pride 2015.

Meanwhile, the City of Seattle unveiled a new Pride flag this year with the addition of black, brown, blue, pink, and white stripes representing the expanding diversity of communities represented by the annual celebration.

Pride season continues on Capitol Hill with parties and events including next week’s Trans Pride, Dyke March, and PrideFest Capitol Hill on Broadway and in Cal Anderson Park. You can check out the CHS Capitol Hill Pride Calendar for details.


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15 thoughts on “Here’s why there are no Pride banners on Broadway

  1. @bob Reality check: there needs to be more funding and the current and additional funding needs to be spent wisely and equitably. One example: the city has not funded either Ingersoll Gender Center or Gender Justice League to create shelter space for transgender people. Current shelter system can be dangerous for trans people. At the same time, it’s not just about funding for homeless specific services but on services that can help prevent the root causes of homelessness. The city, state and federal government and private businesses are on the whole showing they don’t care to really solve the issues. And I don’t care two shits about some pride banners in a once-gay neighborhood. Shining a dirty penny isn’t enough.

    • More funding???

      Currently we spend about $36,000 a year per homeless person in King County. That is $3,000 a month, per person! That is enough to put every homeless person in an apartment way nicer than the one I work my ass off to pay for. There is no way you can say the current level of funding isn’t being mismanaged. Homelessness is a huge problem, but just throwing more and more tax money at it isn’t responsible. There needs to be better accountability for the current funding. If the people in charge can’t help the homeless on $3,000 a month, per person, then we need to find new people to be responsible for the purse strings.

      • @matthew Yes, I said more funding and better management of the funding. They are not mutually exclusive. And how dare you compare your circumstances in which you have a job and housing to the myriad challenges faced by actual homeless people, including massively increasing housing costs, domestic violence, mental health issues, addiction issues, homophobia, transphobia, inequities in hiring, the changing economy, inequities in policing and more. Major corporations have bought Jenny Durkan. The head tax would have helped and how it’s unclear what options there are. Still the head tax money (on massively wealthy companies) wouldn’t have funded enough services and housing as the problem actually demands, but instead of making some progress, the whole thing is tossed out and you’re free to lambast my empathy from your apartment or job computer. Seattle is dying. Strike that. The “have nots” of Seattle are dying literally, or suffering alive, and these major corporations with millions in profits can’t pony up what to them is a pittance. And they are laughing at you because they have pitted you (a seemingly proud worker somewhere) against the poor and destitute. While they rake in their bonuses and reward their shareholders. I’m disgusted how people are acting from places of fear, of their piece of the pie being threatened by the idea of lifting up those who need it. I’m disgusted by people being more concerned about appearances than actually helping people. As for things I would cut from the budget, it’s Jenny Durkan’s entire salary for one. Meanwhile, I hope you do the ever so smallest thing to help the homeless crisis and buy Real Change or donate or volunteer somewhere. I’m sick of commenting on here. It’s just clear how I was deluded that Seattle is as liberal and caring as it used to be. The populace has changed. But I won’t.

      • I stopped reading at “how dare you”. You don’t know anything about me, my circumstances, struggles, or philanthropic work in the community. You are blinded by your ignorant contempt for a fictional character in your narrative, that I somehow represent.

      • Max seems to be from the “victimization generation”

        Sorry but the “system” is not conspiring against you or poor people.

        We all have suffered something like
        “increasing housing costs, domestic violence, mental health issues, addiction issues, homophobia, transphobia, inequities in hiring, the changing economy, inequities in policing”
        But guess what? You pick yourself up and move on …work hard and make a living. You don’t just throw your arms up and say “I give up!”

        Shit happens!

      • Max and his ilk are part of the problem…

        I’ll make a bet he’s also in the crowd that thinks that taking the mentally ill into care and requiring addicts to get treatment would be violating their civil liberties…

        People here are sick and tired of simply throwing money at enabling homelessness rather than addressing the root causes.. We are sick and tired of hearing about someone being raped, set on fire – about tourists being attacked by a delusional homeless person. The rest of us matter too – we should expect to be able to use our parks without fear of being accosted – to have our school yards free of used needles and human waste – to not have our streets and open spaces strewn with trash…. set on fire….

        When the city pledges to start using money for long term solutions and not just cleaning up and shuffling around then maybe they’ll get more support. Until then, I personally, don’t care who they get the money from.. they shouldn’t get more, not even if Amazon can afford it. Wasting their money is still wasting money.

  2. A few important points – in 2017 the Broadway BIA paid for ~250 pride flags and suction cups from Panache and distributed them to ratepayers between Roy St and Pike St. This was a great way to bring pride to Broadway thanks to ratepayers!

    The cost to hang banners and snowflakes along Broadway is exhorbitant for three reasons. 1) The mounting equipment is too close to the high voltage bus trolley lines and have to be turned off to safely install equipment on the poles. It costs ~$3,500 – ~4,000 per turn off so x 2 = $7,500 – 8,000 per banner install. 2) Banners need to be designed and printed ~1,000 – 1,500. 3) Installation costs an additional ~1,000 – 2,000. So, those banners would cost ~$11,500 for a 2 – 4 month installation.

    In 2016, the BBIA made a decision to fund wrapping trees with lights at the street level instead of hanging snowflakes, bringing more light and festivity to the pedestrian experience. Same cost as snowflakes, arguably more festive and exciting.

    These numbers have been shared with CHS blog for past stories about the banner question. If folks feel strongly they should contact the BBIA board who would ultimately fund this effort.

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