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

Just Posted

A 64-year-old dies while mountain biking in Blind Bay

Shuswap Search and Rescue came assist first responders at the scene

City looks at extending public transit to evenings, Sundays

Salmon Arm council to consider expanding services, sharing costs with BC Transit

Plans rolling along for Silver Creek bike trail

CSRD expects construction of 3.65-kilometre path to begin in September 2019

Boil water notice lifted for residents on Sunnybrae system

Recent testing finds turbidity at acceptable levels

City seeks public approval to borrow $845,000 for airport runway project

Salmon Arm residents have until June 24 to voice opposition to borrowing bylaw

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Friend of accused Kelowna murderer takes the stand

Elrich Dyck’s testimony continued Friday with details from the night Chris Ausman was killed

Osprey nest in downtown Salmon Arm will remain until new year

The powerlines around the nest have been de-energized so the birds can stay until spring

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read