The NYPD and Department of Transportation will rip up two raised concrete medians at crash-prone intersections on Eastern Parkway ahead of this weekend's West Indian Day Parade through Crown Heights. The medians were installed last December at the intersections of Kingston and Brooklyn Avenues, as part of a safe streets initiative. And while the DOT says it is exploring a replacement treatment, the timeline for new medians has not been confirmed.

The intersection of Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway is a Vision Zero priority intersection, Streetsblog reports, where seven people sustained severe injuries between 2009 and 2013. According to the DOT, preliminary 2015 crash data shows five crashes involving pedestrian injuries at those two intersections last year. The decision to raze the pedestrian islands has to do with the semi trucks that pull floats along the parade route.

"Due to safety concerns involving parade participants and large vehicles during the upcoming annual West Indian Day Parade, DOT (in coordination with NYPD) is removing two islands along Eastern Parkway," DOT spokesman Scott Gastel stated on Monday. "We are looking at potential replacement treatments in the area and for the long term."

The medians, part of a Safe Routes to Schools plan for nearby Arista Prep Academy and Nursery School and the Oholei Torah yeshiva, were the result of ten years of planning, according to a project report published in 2006 [PDF]. The report cites concerns including regular speeding along Eastern Parkway's northern service road, drivers ignoring the red light on Kingston Avenue, and a lack of curb space to pick up and drop off students in the area.

"The parade is one day out of the year," neighbor Debora Goldstein, 40, told the Post. "The main thing is the pedestrians, the kids and the schoolchildren."

The tabloid reports that the barriers are being demolished at the behest of parade organizers, citing a "high-ranking police source." But when we contacted the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) on Monday, the woman who answered the phone was vague.

"We don't know anything about them removing it [the barriers]," she said, declining to provide her name. "I don't know about that. You have to talk to the police department. We know that it was there and it was a concern. For the trucks—I don't know."

"I just work here, I'm not an organizer," she added. When we asked to be connected with an organizer, she hung up. The NYPD did not respond to our request for comment.

A woman who answered the phone for Brooklyn's Community Board 8, which covers the parade route, also declined to give her name, describing herself only as an office worker. She said that while the Community Board voted in favor of the safety plan, concerns were never raised about the movement of floats during the West Indian Day Parade. A December 2015 post from the Brooklynian disputes this point, stating that an audience member asked how the new, raised medians might impact the parade route.

Amid this safe streets debate, the NYPD is continuing to ramp up its anti-gun violence messaging ahead of Crown Heights's annual J'Ouvert festival—the all-night street carnival that takes place the night before the parade.