Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror A rainbow crosswalk along Shoppers Row has been damaged by vandals.

Vandals target Campbell River’s rainbow crosswalk

A vinyl rainbow crosswalk in downtown Campbell River may have to be removed

Vandals have destroyed a downtown rainbow crosswalk – installed in celebration of diversity and the upcoming Pride Festival – and now the artistic talent behind the crosswalk says it may have to be removed.

Keith Plamondon, owner of Epic Design Studio Ltd. which put in the vinyl crosswalk at Shoppers Row and 10th Avenue, said just 35 minutes after completing the brightly coloured design on June 11, he witnessed a male driver perform a burnout with his vehicle right over top of the crosswalk.

Then to add insult to injury, Plamondon said it appears other drivers have since followed suit.

“Since that day, there must have been six to seven burnouts done on it,” said Plamondon, who put in five hours worth of painting and four hours of prep and installation work. “So upsetting to be honest. It only had to last two to four weeks.”

The rainbow crosswalk was supposed to be temporary and last until the Pride Festival in Spirit Square this Saturday. The crosswalk was initiated by the community’s LGBT2Q+ group which approached city council for permission to have the crosswalk.

Laura McLaren, facilitator of the LGBT2Q+ group, said a rainbow crosswalk last year at Shoppers Row and 11th Avenue was a “big hit” and the youth wanted to get involved with it again this year. She said the group also figured it would help brighten up the downtown core and get people talking.

“Rainbows are colourful and fun. It could inspire conversations among families about the rainbow and about the LGBT2Q+ community,” McLaren told the Mirror prior to the crosswalk being installed. “It’s also just appealing. It’s colourful, creative, fun, would add a splash of colour to the downtown core.”

So, the crosswalk, thanks to $3,000 from the city’s Public Art Committee, was installed the afternoon of June 11. But since then, the crosswalk has taken such a beating that Plamondon fears it could be a safey issue.

“Now it’s so trashed that I think I may have to remove it as it’s now becoming a hazard,” Plamondon said.

The vinyl is ripped and in some places, has been completely removed from the road surface.

Michele Sirett, the city’s recreation and culture supervisor, said the vinyl product was designed to “stand up to regular traffic and weather conditions and would be easy to remove,” but, she added, “unfortunately, this product doesn’t stand up to this type of vandalism.”

Sirett said “there is evidence of at least five instances of this type of vandalism to this crosswalk in the last week.” She also said that the RCMP has been contacted.

“I can confirm the city has reported the vandalism to the RCMP. We urge anyone who witnessed this vandalism to report the details to the RCMP.”

She added that the city is currently working with the LGBT2Q+ group to discuss options for the damaged crosswalk.

Campbell River is not the only community dealing with vandals who are targeting rainbow crosswalks.

Similar crosswalks in Whitehorse, Saskatoon and Lethbridge, Alta. were also vandalized by tire marks earlier this month.

Closer to home, New Westminster, Victoria and Nanaimo have also all dealt with vandals wreaking havoc on their rainbow crosswalks.

 

Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror City has reported the damage done to the downtown rainbow crosswalk to RCMP.

Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror Keith Plamondon and his staff – with the help of the Campbell River LGBT2Q+ youth group – install the colourful vinyl wrap on the pavement on Shoppers Row June 11.

Just Posted

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Healthier snacks coming to City of Campbell River facilities

City in the process of replacing high-sugar and high-fat snacks and beverages in vending machines

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read