A university in the Netherlands has marked Pride season by painting what is believed to be the longest rainbow bike path in the world.
The path can be found at the Utrecht Science Park (part of Utrecht University) in the city of Utrecht: about a 45-minute drive south of Amsterdam.
The path was the idea of 22-year-old student Elias van Mourik. In a press statement, he said, “A lot of people live, work and study at Utrecht Science Park. It’s therefore great that at such a location you get a symbol that shows that everyone is accepted.”
The path is 570 meters in length. It includes eight stripes, including black and brown. Painting began at the beginning of last week and the end result was unveiled on Thursday.
“We want to show that everyone can be themselves and is welcome in the Utrecht Science Park,” says Elena Valbusa, Diversity Officer of University of Applied Sciences Utrecht.
“Everyone, so regardless of your color, sexual orientation, cultural background, but also regardless of your disability or your parents’ income. We prefer to look at the human being, with everyone’s own talents and qualities and how we can develop them further.”
The path is a joint project between three institutions: University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Utrecht University, and the UMC Utrecht. They will also be launching initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the Fall (postponed because of the Covid pandemic).
Janneke Plantenga, diversity dean of Utrecht University, said, “The idea is, for instance, to organize a lecture series. Or to tell the stories that the cycle path stands for in a podcast series. In the coming months, we will start working on the exact details. We are determined to make something beautiful out of it together.”
The Netherlands is known for being one of the most progressive countries in the world. In 2001, it became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
Rainbow crossings have become commonplace in cities across the globe. Earlier this year, Sydney unveiled a 90-foot rainbow path in one of its Prince Alfred Park ahead of its annual Mardi Gras festival.