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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau officials are searching for a compromise between public safety and creative expression in response to unauthorized multicolored crosswalks.

The white lines marking a crosswalk in the city have been painted over with rainbow colors five times since last year, the Juneau Empire reported .

The city said it costs $300 each time to repaint the crosswalk white, the color needed for safety reasons. Another crosswalk was found to be painted in rainbow colors Tuesday.

In an open letter to residents this week, city manager Rorie Watt pleaded for the unknown person to stop the late-night road painting.

The white-striped crosswalk design follows federal guidelines and serves as visual cue for drivers as well as telling pedestrians where to cross, Watt said.

While painting over the road markings is vandalism, Watt encouraged the artist to reach out to city staff to discuss a civic project.

The best way to resolve the crosswalk painting is for both parties to get together and talk about what can be done, Mayor Ken Koelsch said.

“I think the people who are interested in the crosswalks should meet with the city before they are going to paint,” Koelsch said. “For safety reasons, I want them to discuss this with us.”

The rainbow crosswalks have resulted in mixed reactions from Juneau residents. Some say the colors add personality while other say it just an annoyance to the city.

Ryan Stanley, who lives near one of the crosswalks, said the crosswalk represents a balancing act between what the city and people want.

“It’s clear that it is one of those weird things that nobody knows how to deal with,” Stanley said. “People that will knee-jerk toward safety will look at the code and the laws. If somebody gets hit in the crosswalk, it is a pretty big deal. Combine that with the general of how do people in the community get their community the way they want it.”


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire,