Officials in Atlantic City, N.J. had to figure out the hard way that Black Roads Matter.
A Black Lives Matter mural painted in huge, bright yellow block letters in September on Martin Luther King Boulevard created massive confusion for motorists, who couldn’t tell where proper lanes are. Police eventually had to close the painted block between Atlantic and Pacific avenues to vehicle traffic, according to The Press of Atlantic City.
The City Council voted on March 24 to spend more than $36,000 to remove the surface of the block and repave it. Why so much money?
Because the type of paint used cannot be painted over, and will bleed through, according to City Public Works Director Paul Jerkins.
“It has to be completely taken up, repaved and directional arrows added to it,” Jerkins said, explaining that the work will be similar to a regular repaving job.
Acting Police Chief James Sarkos said the painting of the street — done during a media-fueled craze of painting Black Lives Matter on everything from thoroughfares to buildings to statuary — violated state Department of Transportation regulations.
“Right after the street was painted we had a lot of confusion with vehicles,” he said. “It was painted the same color as the yellow lines.”
“We’re going to remove Black Lives Matter, but we shouldn’t have done it to begin with,” said Councilwoman LaToya Dunston. “We’re going to waste taxpayer dollars because we didn’t know the laws.
“We have got to do something better,” Dunston said, “especially at a time like this when we are dealing with the pandemic crisis. It’s ridiculous.”
Councilman Mo Delgado stuck to his priorities, suggesting that a mural be created elsewhere in a way that does not violate DOT regulations.
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