The move to refresh the yellow paint will cost D.C. taxpayers $271,231, including $217,680 in labor costs and $53,551 in paint supplies, according to documents obtained from D.C.’s Department of Transportation.
The documents show the city contracted with D.C.-based Equus Striping on the project.
“As a black- and women-owned D.C. business, we couldn’t be prouder of our crew,” the vendor wrote in a Facebook post.
“A lot of elbow grease went into this project and we are incredibly happy with how it turned out,” it continued. “Thanks for Helping us Change the World, One Line at a Time.”
The new paint job comes after D.C. slashed its police budget by millions in 2020. The city council’s 2023 budget continued the significant reduction in law enforcement resources, cutting millions more from the Criminal Investigations Division and Narcotics and Special Investigations.
Meanwhile, violent crime has increasing by 40% over the last year and robberies have increased by 68%.
“D.C. crime is out of contro, but local leaders continue to waste $270,000 in tax money promoting the extremist Black Lives Matter movement in the heart of Washington D.C. that is racist, anti-police, anti-American, and often violent,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
Zack Smith, a crime and justice expert at the Heritage Foundation, said D.C.’s priorities send a clear message that “violent crime will be tolerated” in the nation’s capital.
“The city is prioritizing performative gestures that really don’t have an impact on combating violent crime,” he told the Washington Examiner. “If the city council and the mayor’s office are serious about combating violent crime, protecting the lives hopefully of all citizens, but particularly black lives, then they would pour more money into public safety—particularly putting more police officers on the street.”