Crosswalk lights installed on Roosevelt Blvd.

PHILADELPHIA - September 7, 2012

Those five mid-block traffic lights are in place at crosswalks, which will force drivers to hit the brakes and allow pedestrians to cross.

"They try to run and beat out the cars, but you can't beat a car," said Jeffrey Syen.

It's part of a $2.8 million project to improve safety on the Boulevard. Since the signals were turned on Thursday, nearby security guard John Beattie says he has already seen a difference.

"I think it was a real good move. Something should've been done years ago," Beattie said. "It's scary for the people that live here. There are a lot of older people that live here and they were scared to cross the street before lights were put in because it's dangerous."

78-year-old Hilga Marren, who uses a walker to help her home from the bus stop, calls the signals 'lifesavers.'

"I've been one of the victims. I don't have a car, don't drive a car. I depend on friends or a bus," Marren said.

Syen says he thinks the mid-block signals are a step towards safety, but he'd feel more comfortable crossing the block along a pedestrian bridge.

"It's safe. You can't get hit by a car by walking on a bridge. I think it might be better but more expensive I'm sure," Syen said.

Just last week, 43-year-old Michael Romano was killed while trying to cross the outer lanes of the Boulevard with his 5-year-old son. Romano was struck and killed by a car just after he pushed his son to safety.

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