New sensors installed at dangerous intersection

DOT replaces sensors near Etz Chaim Synagogue

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's been just over a month since 57-year-old Esther Ohayon and her teenage daughter were hit by a car while crossing San Jose Boulevard.

Since the accident, the community has joined together to call for safety changes on San Jose Boulevard at Haley Road, to accommodate the beliefs of Orthadox Jews in the area who can't operate crosswalk signals.

Friday night was the first time members of the Etz Chaim Synagogue were able to cross San Jose Boulevard without touching the signal, by using automatic signals.

Touching the button on the crosswalk goes against the Orthodox Jewish religion, that they cannot operate crosswalk signals.

"We just heard about it this evening, I'm not sure if it follows l'halel code, but we're going to see how it works," said Arthur Rosenthal.

Under their tradition, Orthodox Jews are not allowed to operate an electronic sensor and by walking under these new sensors that may happen. The congregation at Etz Chaim has been very vocal about traffic concerns on the corner of their synagogue.

Despite the new sensors at the crosswalk, many worshipers are taking extra precautions as they cross San Jose Boulevard, by wearing reflective vests.

"To make sure I can be seen, always an issue around here," said Steven Shapiro. "There have been accidents here before, so and lots of close calls."

Rabbi Yaakov Fisch, told Channel 4 Friday night that he is scheduled to meet with the Department of Transportation early next week to discuss the sensors.

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