Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk, covered in what appears to be white paint. (Photo: Twitter@MumofThreeBC)

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk defaced 10 days after installation

City crews are out removing the paint today with a high-pressured steam wand

Just 10 days after its installation, Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk has been defaced.

“I think it’s very disappointing someone would do this,” said Ginger Gervais, who posted an image of the crosswalk to Twitter on Sunday.

“It’s horrible.”

Gervais said she was in the area Sunday afternoon when she noticed white paint all over the colourful crosswalk.

According to Gervais, it “definitely” looked intentional.

“It’s everywhere in that area,” added the City Centre resident. “You could see cars driving by with paint all over the wheels and doors.

“Very sad.”

On Monday morning, Surrey RCMP said they are investigating the vandalism to the pride crosswalk but that they have no suspects so far.

City crews were out Monday morning trying to clean up the crosswalk.

“We originally tried to do it with a regular pressure washer but it really wasn’t working all that well,” said Ray Kerr, Manager of Engineering Operations. “We have a graffiti removal crew who uses high-pressured steam when removing graffiti so we were trying that this morning and it seems to be working quite well. We’re hopeful by the end of the day we’ll have it cleaned up.”

What’s the cost to restore the crosswalk?

“Really, it’s minimal,” said Kerr. “I would kind of look at is as removing graffiti on the crosswalk. It’s terrible that somebody would take the time to be that malicious. I’m hopeful it will be cleaned up by the end of the day and at the same time, I’m hopeful nobody else decides to be as uncaring.”

A communications representative said Mayor Linda Hepner “condemns this bigoted act, but is not interested in giving the perpetrators any sort of publicity.”

See also: Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk is installed

See also: Surrey mayor shrugs off criticism about rainbow crosswalk

See also: ‘Glam & Glitter’ ball, festival and more at Surrey Pride celebrations

The city finished installing the crosswalk on June 14, aiming to have it ready for Surrey Pride celebrations, set for this weekend.

“It delivers a message I think we as a city we should de delivering, and that is of inclusivity,” Mayor Linda Hepner said before its installation. “When you look at 102 languages spoken here in our city, that rainbow sidewalk has gone way beyond just being an original LGBTQ sidewalk and it represents now a message of inclusiveness and I think in a city that’s as diverse as ours, that that is a critical message.”

The crosswalk at Old Yale Road and University Drive cost $8,500, according to the City of Surrey.

City officials say a regular “zebra” crosswalk costs $2,000 and has a three- to five-year lifespan, while the rainbow crosswalk will cost $8,500 and should last for five years.

Some in the community were upset about the crosswalk’s installation, many emailing city council to express their discontent.

The first email came from Tanya Gaw, who identified herself as a Fleetwood resident.

“We voted them into office. They’re spending our money,” Gaw said in an interview with the Now-Leader earlier this month. “There’s opposition here and I think people didn’t have a way to voice that without being called racist or bigots. If we have a view, can we please just rationally pause for a moment and take a look at the evidence, at what this movement is actually pushing on society.”

Hepner said she suspected an ulterior motive behind the opponents.

“I think it’s a message of hate camouflaged by an issue of cost,” said Hepner, “and the issue of cost is nonexistent. Five years, $8,500, come on.”

See also: Courtenay rainbow crosswalk vandalized 1 day after installation

See also: Fort Langley rainbow crosswalk vandalized

Rainbow crosswalks in other B.C. communities have been vandalized recently, with tire tracks being burned over them.

Earlier this month, Courtenay’s rainbow crosswalk was left with tire marks just one day after its installation.

Other cities to see similar damage include Fort Langley and Campbell River.

Earlier this month, Hepner said, “I hope that doesn’t happen here.”

Just Posted

VIDEO: Raccoon gang blamed for dozens of Abbotsford cat deaths and injuries

Video shows raccoon gang’s pursuit of feline left with broken leg and lacerations

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

OPINION: Playing with vigilante fire

Kids, don’t try this at home: Why taking the law into your own hands is probably a bad idea

Highway crashes double in Fraser Valley, truck traffic also up steeply

Unclear if doubling of Fraser Valley highway crashes is linked to spike in truck traffic

Sandy Mathies is running for Chilliwack city council

Creating affordable housing options and keeping the community safe are two of his platform planks

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

B.C. Lions claw their way back to score 20-17 victory over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss

Most Read