Safety comes second on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where concrete barriers designed to aid pedestrians are being destroyed to make way for giant West Indian Day Parade floats.
This week, the city will jackhammer away the barriers, angering area residents who fought for years to have them built.
“It compromises the safety of the people. It’s not good,” fumed Debora Goldstein, 40. “The parade is one day out of the year. The main thing is the pedestrians, the kids and the schoolchildren.”
The West Indian Day celebration — slated for Labor Day, Sept. 5 — is one of the city’s biggest parades, annually drawing more than 1 million people to Crown Heights.
And that’s precisely why removing the barriers is a terrible idea, according to area residents.
“The city should not be making things more dangerous,” said longtime Crown Heights resident Chaim Patterson, 65. “It doesn’t make sense.”
Activists fought for years for the barriers, which were finally installed last December at two dangerous spots where Eastern Parkway intersects Brooklyn Avenue and Kingston Avenue.
But parade officials convinced the city to remove the medians so that bulky floats and wide-load trucks can navigate the roadway, a high-ranking police source told The Post.
A Department of Transportation spokesman confirmed that the agency and NYPD will remove the two medians “due to safety concerns involving parade participants.”
“We are looking at potential replacement treatments in the area and for the long term,” said DOT spokesman Scott Gastel, who refused to address questions about the cost of installation — and removal — of the barriers.
Rabbi Eli Cohen, executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Center, said, “It seems like trying to deal with one safety issue has created a different safety issue.”
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