Crosswalks at three Commercial Drive intersections have been painted with the green, white, and red colours of the Italian flag.
The crosswalks are on East 1st Avenue and Commercial, East 4th Avenue and Commercial, and Charles Street and Commercial, according to Carmen D’Onofrio Jr., president of the Commercial Drive Business Society.
“They actually just completed today,” D’Onofrio told the Georgia Straight by phone Wednesday (May 29).
The crosswalks mark East Vancouver’s Little Italy.
“Everything is all completed, and the project is finished,” D’Onofrio said.
Stretching eight blocks, Little Italy is four blocks of Commercial Drive north and south of East 1st Avenue.
“The City of Vancouver recognized these eight blocks of Commercial Drive as Vancouver’s historic Little Italy, so we wanted to give some definition to the area, and promote and expand upon that, and it’s been really well received both by residents, Vancouverites, [and] tourists that are visiting the city,” D’Onofrio said.
According to D’Onofrio, Little Italy pays homage to the Italian heritage of the neighbourhood.
“They’re meant to be permanent,” D’Onofrio said about the crosswalks.
The painting of the crosswalks was done in the run-up to the Italian Day on The Drive festival on June 9.
“I think it’s important to maintain the identity of the area,” D’Onofrio said.
City council in 2016 unanimously designated the Little Italy area on a motion by councillor Melissa De Genova.