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Pride crosswalk's colours shine brightly once more

Tar, or a similar substance added to tires, meant 'elbow grease' was needed to restore Niagara-on-the-Lake's Pride crosswalk

Niagara-on-the-Lake's Pride crosswalk, defaced twice in less than a week, is now clean.

NOTL CAO Marnie Cluckie says staff were still looking at how best to clean it Monday morning, after a second round of vandalism was discovered Sunday morning, and also discussing putting up cameras to prevent further vandalism.

While recognizing a quick clean-up is important, it proved to be a challenge, says Cluckie.

Town staff had consulted with the company that painted the vivid colours of the crosswalk last week, she says, to ensure they would be using “best practices” to clean it, and high water pressure was recommended.

By Monday morning, staff had identified the second set of circular marks as made by tires coated with a substance, likely tar, and sought advice on how to clean it up without any further damage, Cluckie says.

They also had to wait until the police came out for a second look — Cluckie contacted them again Monday morning to let them know their investigation included two acts of vandalism, likely made by “a small vehicle, like a motorcycle, dirt bike or ATV.”

But when town staff first made an attempt to clean off the tar and tire marks, it didn’t work.

However, they gave it another try Tuesday afternoon, Cluckie told ThoroldToday sister publication the NOTL Local.

In the end it was “a combination of hot, high pressure water, and a lot of elbow grease.”

Rainbow crosswalks and benches as symbols of inclusivity are quite common in Canada and North America, Cluckie adds, “so this is not a novel idea. It is a good way to demonstrate that the community embraces inclusivity."