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)

Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized after one week

City 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 tire 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

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

Just Posted

Word on the street: How do you spend a snow day?

When snow cancels school and your boss tells you to stay home,… Continue reading

Sports Shorts

Keep up to date with local sporting events and news segments Curling… Continue reading

Photo reminds Salmon Arm resident of connection to former drama teacher Justin Trudeau

Prime minister remembered as being as a funny, larger-than-life person

Dining moose a welcome distraction at Salmon Arm campus

Pair feast on willows, unperturbed by onlookers at Okanagan College

Woman convicted in Salmon Arm love triangle murder granted escorted temporary absences

Monica Sikorski was 17 when she plotted shooting death of 22-year-old Tyler Myers

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

B.C. town spends $14.14 per resident for snow removal in one month

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read