BUSHWICK - Pedestrians who feel that crossing city streets has become more dangerous may be right. A new study finds that many drivers aren't stopping at red lights.
Arleen Rivera says she's always alert when she crosses the street at Evergreen and Gates avenues in Bushwick. "It can be scary for people crossing, especially if you're elderly or crossing with small children," she says.
Rivera wasn't surprised when a Hunter College study found that the intersection has the highest number of drivers running red lights. The intersection was among 50 that were studied around the city.
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Officials say vehicles would often stop at the red light, look both ways and then proceed through the intersection, treating it like a stop sign.
Hunter College Professor William Milczarski led the study in which his students observed 28 vehicles out of 96 running the red light on two separate days.
"Everybody goes through the intersection all the time," says resident Amir Hairston. "That's just the way people drive. Everybody is in a hurry nowadays."
Brooklyn had the most red-light violations than anywhere else in the city, although Staten Island wasn't included in the study. Hunter researchers say they hope the study will make New Yorkers think twice about running red lights.
The Department of Transportation says it is working closely with the NYPD to enforce traffic laws and that red-light violations are up this year. The DOT says it is also looking into where it should install new red-light cameras.