Midtown’s rainbow crosswalks cleaned up again after weekend damage

Midtown's rainbow crosswalks were damaged again by apparent street racers. This photo is from last Sunday's damage.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Combined ShapeCaption
Midtown's rainbow crosswalks were damaged again by apparent street racers. This photo is from last Sunday's damage.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Department of Transportation workers in Atlanta were again cleaning up Midtown’s iconic rainbow crosswalks Monday morning after street racers left tire burn marks for the second weekend in a row.

Videos posted to social media early Sunday showed two black cars doing doughnuts and burning out in the center of the intersection at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue as traffic was held up and a crowd surrounded the intersection, with several onlookers filming with their cellphones.

“We are disappointed that some consider these dangerous actions that damage public property to be their idea of a good time,” the Midtown Alliance said in a tweet. “We appreciate the efforts of our partners at @ATLDOT for cleaning up the landmark intersection last week, and for coming out this morning to fix it again.”

Atlanta police were called when the street racers began doing doughnuts in the intersection over the weekend, but by the time officers arrived, the racers were gone, police said.

“The rainbow crosswalks have once again been left with rubber skid marks from drag racers,” the Midtown Neighbors’ Association wrote in an Instagram story Sunday morning. “This is dangerous and the damage is hurtful to our community. A flagrant act of selfishness in a space so important to us all.”

The association went on to ask followers to not share any videos depicting the street racers as “we understand they do it for the viral notoriety.”

“We are committed to ensuring it is cleaned up every time,” the association added.

Last Sunday night, street racers left the same marks on the crosswalks. DOT workers had the tire marks removed by Tuesday morning.

Atlanta police have offered a $2,000 reward for anyone with information on the street racers who damaged the crosswalks. Street racing has been an issue affecting the Atlanta area for two years, authorities have said, and they consider laying drag or doing doughnuts and burnouts as part of street racing, and it falls under a multi-agency attempt to curtail the issue.

“We, like many of you, were disturbed when we saw the burnout marks on the crosswalks,” Atlanta police told Channel 2 Action News. “We want to be clear: We have zero tolerance for this in our city. Our investigators are working hard to identify anyone involved in this incident.”

The crosswalks were initially installed temporarily for Atlanta Pride in 2015. Then in 2017, for the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that they would become permanent in recognition of the contributions of the city’s LGBTQ community.

In August 2020, Atlanta approved an ordinance that sets penalties of up to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail for those who attend street racing events, even if they are not driving in them.

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