The headlights of an early morning commuter illuminate the damage to the Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

The headlights of an early morning commuter illuminate the damage to the Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk vandalized

Someone used their tires to damage the just-installed crossing

Less than a week after it went in, someone vandalized the new rainbow crosswalk in Fort Langley, performing a burn-out that left black tire marks marring the surface of the Glover Road crossing.

It happened late at night some time over the weekend, social media comments suggest.

One online message said one side of the crosswalk was damaged on one day, then the other side was done the next day.

Township crews finished painting the colourful crossing, which was funded through private donors, on Thursday night (Sept. 14).

On Monday, a Township crew was using a pressure washer to strip the skid marks off the heavy-duty thermal plastic crosswalk markings.

Some of the paint was being touched up as well.

The cost of the work was covered by the regular maintenance budget for the crosswalk, said Township Roads Operations Manager Brian Edey.

“It’s unfortunate that we have people who would do this sort of thing,” Edey told The Times.

Artist Elaine Brewer-White, who along with a group of local artists, spearheaded the campaign in July 2016 said the motives behind the vandalism will likely never be known.

“It was done in the dead of night when cowards strike out,” Brewer-White said of the incident.

“It could just be alcohol and stupidity.”

She was pleased with the quick response by the Township in cleaning off the tire marks.

She said she also heard from several people who offered to personally come out and scrub off the marks.

“If we have to keep fundraising to keep it clean, we will.”

Brewer-White said the crossing was meant to be a “happy thing,” a symbol of “love and diversity.”

“(Some) people are taking this so out of proportion,” she said.

Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk has been vandalized just days after it was installed #langley #fortlangleybc langleytimes.com

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Rainbow crosswalks, designed to show support for the LGBTQ community, have been targeted in other communities.

In July, a man poured white paint on a Pride crossing in New Westminister.

In Lethbridge, someone defaced pride crosswalks with tar and manure.

In Whitehorse, in June, a truck was spotted deliberately spinning its wheels to create skid marks, allegedly circling around the block to come back and do more damage.

At the time, Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis said the rainbow crosswalk was painted deeper into the road making it more long lasting than some other street markings. Curtis said the black marks will be gone long before the rainbow disappears.

In Campbell River, a newly installed rainbow crosswalk was vandalized just just 35 minutes after it was completed on June 11.

Keith Plamondon, owner of Epic Design Studio Ltd. which put in the vinyl crosswalk, 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.”

Crosswalks in Nanaimo and Saskatoon have also been attacked.

-with files from The Yukon News and Campbell River Mirror

dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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A pressure washer was used to remove skid marks from the new rainbow crosswalk in Fort Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

A pressure washer was used to remove skid marks from the new rainbow crosswalk in Fort Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

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