London's Abbey Road Crosswalk Got a Lockdown Refresh
Free of tourists, it was the perfect time for a new coat of paint.
London's Abbey Road crosswalk may be one of the most recognizable spots in all of the world thanks to the Fab Four's famous strut across its striped lines. But because of that, the street's signature white stripes have been worn down because visitors understandably can't resist getting a snapshot of themselves recreating the Beatles's famous photo. Add to that the fact that locals use the crosswalk, too, and it's a formula for wear and tear. However, the Guardian reports that the city of Westminster took some time during London's coronavirus lockdown to give the street a bit of a refresh.
Abbey Road Studios shared photos of the progess, writing that "the streets have gone quiet" across London, except for the people who worked to restore the crosswalk. Anyone worried about the workers' safety need not worry. A spokesperson for the city council assured everyone that every precaution was taken, including social distancing.
“This is a very busy zebra crossing and we repainted the line markings to ensure visibility and increased safety for drivers and pedestrians,” a spokesperson for the Westminster City Council told The Guardian. “Our contractors follow government advice on limiting the spread of COVID-19, including social distancing and hand washing.”
The road restoration is just part of ongoing upkeep for the tourist favorite. The BBC notes that the city has to repaint the walls near the crosswalk due to the amount of fan graffiti that's left behind, but adds that painting the actual street can't happen as often since it's a functioning crosswalk that's frequented by pedestrians and cars alike.
Back in 2010, the British government declared the crosswalk a "site of national importance," so restoration and upkeep is serious business.
“This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photoshoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage,” John Penrose, the minister for tourism and heritage, said at the time, according to Reuters.