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

Just Posted

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

Mining company prospecting for gold near Bella Coola

Gold discovered in alpine areas where glaciers are receding

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Most Read