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NEW YORK — For many New Yorkers, crossing the street in the middle of the block or against the light is a way of life, part of an attitude that tells everybody, ‘‘I’m walkin’ here!’’
‘‘Of course I jaywalk!’’ says 70-year-old Peter Standish, a retired corporate lawyer and native New Yorker, adding that he occasionally texts, reads, and even does crossword puzzles while crossing. ‘‘I do look up often,’’ he noted.
But with 12 pedestrians deaths so far this year, new Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking aim at that defiant attitude with steps that include increasing awareness of the dangers and, in some places, a crackdown on an offense that has been long ignored. Police are actually handing out tickets to jaywalkers.