A newly painted rainbow crosswalk in Surrey, outside the school district’s education centre. (Photo: Twitter@Surrey_Schools)

Surrey school district unveils its first rainbow crosswalk

Superintendent Jordan Tinney says colour crossing ‘a statement that everyone is welcome in Surrey’

Surrey Schools has officially completed its first rainbow crosswalk.

The district tweeted a photo of the project on Aug. 21 and the colourful crossing stretches across an entrance to the District Education Centre at 14033 92nd Ave.

“It’s too bad it’s raining, but it’s brightening up the parking lot,” said Surrey School District Superintendent Jordan Tinney with a laugh on a wet Wednesday morning.

“It looks great, I can see it from my office,” he added, noting the project has been in the works for about a year. “It basically paves the way over to the resource centre. I get in early in the morning so today, even right now, I’m watching people drive up and the number of people that stop… It’s very cool. It’s a nice way to start the year.”

Tinney told the Now-Leader the crosswalk is a “clear statement” on the district’s focus on creating “safe, caring and inclusive schools.”

A committee is in place that carries out that vision, Tinney noted, and he said “this is one of the things they wanted to do and the board was unbelievably supportive.”

“It’s a statement on safety and inclusion for our pride community but it’s more than that,” he said. “It’s a statement that everyone is welcome in Surrey.”

Tinney said the district’s quote for the sidewalk was $8,570 and “we don’t expect it to be over budget.”

Asked if the district has plans for more rainbow crosswalks, Tinney said he doesn’t see why not.

“We hope if this is done in other places in the district, they take the care in doing it right,” he said, adding “you want to be careful of how many.”

READ ALSO: Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk is installed in City Centre

SEE MORE: Surrey mayor shrugs off criticism about rainbow crosswalk

In June of 2018, the Surrey installed the city’s first rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of Old Yale Road and Community Drive.

It came with a price tag of $8,500 and was installed just in time for Surrey Pride festivities that year at Holland Park.

At the time, former mayor Linda Hepner told the Now-Leader the crosswalk was her idea.

“On my way to my TransLink meetings I see this crosswalk in New Westminster and I thought, you know what? I actually like the way it looks and the message it delivered around inclusivity. It was frankly my idea,” she told the Now-Leader in 2018.

“It delivers a message I think we as a city we should de delivering, and that is of inclusivity,” Hepner added. “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 as diverse as ours, that that is a critical message.”

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

But Hepner shrugged off the criticism he 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.”

Within 10 days of its installation, Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk was defaced, covered in what appeared to be white paint but it has since been cleaned off.

Rainbow crosswalks in other B.C. communities have been vandalized with tire tracks being burned over them. In June of 2018, 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.

Most recently, a mysterious black substance is believed to have been intentionally spilled on a rainbow crosswalk on Vancouver Island, in front of a Qualicum Beach high school. Officials say it appeared to have been vandalism and has proven difficult to remove.

READ MORE: B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

$500K richer in lottery win, Surrey mom plans to buy townhouse for family

‘I’m already thinking of new furniture,’ says Lea Turner

Surrey murder victim’s sister pressuring feds during election

Maple Batalia’s sister Roseleen wants politicians to improve lot of victims after killer received compassionate leave from prison

Hat-wearing suspect sought in Guildford-area taxi robbery

Man was picked up in the 15900-block of Fraser Highway then driven to 163rd Street

Surrey RCMP looking for owner of stolen catalytic converters

They were found last Thursday, along with some power tools, in an abandoned rental truck

Surrey Eagles rebound with win Sunday after pair of road losses

South Surrey-based BC Hockey League team defeates Langley Rivermen on home ice

VIDEO: “How dare you?” Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

‘We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and yet all you can talk about is money.’

Pettersson has 4 points as Canucks dump Ottawa 6-4

Vancouver wins NHL pre-season tilt in Abbotsford

British man returns to Yukon to tipple his own toe in long-running tradition

So-called sourtoe cocktail is a shot of whisky with a mummified human toe in it

Poll suggests Canadians concerned about fake news, but struggle to spot it

56 per cent of respondents admitted to reading or sharing inaccurate news

Province announces $3.5 million in funding for community solutions to overdose crisis

Grants up to $50,000 will be available for municipalities working with a regional health authority

Conservatives’ plan to ease mortgage stress-test rules may raise debt and prices

Andrew Scheer vows to loosen rules around stress test and remove it altogether for mortgage renewals

B.C. mom urges patience after rude comments while out with toddlers

People asked to be better and to help each other

U.S. wrestler says viral speeding ticket video was staged

WWE wrestler Lacey Evans says she does not condone disrespecting law enforcement officers

‘Own a piece of history’: Beachcombers location Molly’s Reach up for sale

‘This is one of B.C.’s most photographed buildings’

Most Read