A week after it was painted, Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of 5th Street SW and 5th Avenue SW was vandalized with a burnout. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

B.C. city’s new rainbow crosswalk vandalized after one week

City of Salmon Arm to fix damage caused by what appears to be a motorcycle burnout.

Someone has already left a black mark on Salmon Arm’s week-old rainbow crosswalk.

Images of a what appears to be a motorcycle burnout on the colourful crossing at the intersection of 5th Street SW and 5th Avenue SW were quick to circulate on social media Wednesday, July 25, seven days after the rainbow crosswalk had been painted.

Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper said she’s upset by what she referred to as an act of vandalism.

“I find this extremely disappointing…,” said Cooper. “I’m just standing down here now looking at it. It kind of looks like somebody is not happy about it if they would do that across it, vandalize it.”

Cooper said the rainbow crosswalk represents both community pride and inclusivity.

“This is a first for Salmon Arm – we’ve come a long way forwards in having this rainbow crosswalk here,” said Cooper. “It means that our community, we just want to be inclusive to everybody. This is a great community and everybody needs to feel included and that’s what this does, it speaks loud, it’s beautiful… it’s a highly used area, very visible and it really brightens this place up.”

Salmon Arm resident and radio personality Patrick Ryley, an advocate for the municipal rainbow crosswalk and the LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer [or questioning] two-spirited) community, responded to the vandalism with a calm invitation for the vandal to accept their own issues and come out.

Related: B.C. rainbow crosswalk vandalized 1 day after installation

Related: First rainbow crosswalk on First Nation reserve in Canada unveiled

Related: Experience in wheelchair opens eyes to access concerns

Related: Salmon Arm council approves rainbow crosswalk

“God made me in his image and blessed me as part of top 10 per cent of society,” said Ryley. “Someone defacing the pride crosswalk does not diminish my personal power. The LGBTQ2 community is a strong voice that will be heard.

“People only attack physical representations of their own inner fears. If someone is going to deface the Pride sidewalk it is because it is a representation of their own issues and I encourage that person to accept themselves fully and come out.

“The Shuswap and Salmon Arm have grown immensely over the last few years and it’s incredible the acceptance and love this community generates for all people.”

Salmon Arm director of engineering and public works Rob Niewenhuizen said it cost the city approximately $1,600 to paint the rainbow crosswalk. He wasn’t sure what fixing the damage would cost.

Cooper insists the crosswalk be fixed, for this and any future acts of vandalism that might occur.

“I think we just keep cleaning it up. That’s what we do,” said Cooper. “It’s like what they talked about in some of the bigger cities in the States, they talk about the broken-window syndrome. If you’ve got a broken window and it isn’t repaired, it just encourages people to break more windows. We’ll just clean it up if we can and if we have anymore paint left.”


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#rainbowncrosswalk#salmonarm

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read