Jackson residents frustrated with broken traffic lights, road infrastructure repair delays

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 10:08 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Broken traffic lights and poles down around the capital city. It’s a problem that’s driving some residents to distraction and they want the city to take action.

”It’s an eyesore with inoperable lights hanging off poles.”

Tameka Gilkey lives in North Jackson. Gilkey says when her family goes to and from home they see broken traffic lights, wires, and poles at the intersection of Valley North and Watkins Drive.

“Then you have the pole that is down. You still see the pole and you still see the light fixture, but it is not working,” she said.

She says there was an accident at the intersection last year that produced the mess. Then after neighbors voiced their frustration and concerns, stop signs were put up, but many drivers ignore the signs.

“People don’t care. They really, really don’t. Some nights they drag race through here and will not stop.”

Over in Northwest Jackson, we spotted much of the same on Boling Street and Northside Drive. We found a concrete pole lying in the median from an apparent car accident and orange and white barriers warning drivers to stop.

If you travel to Medgar Evers Blvd and Ridgeway Street there are more inoperable traffic lights and stop signs put up as a temporary fix. Orange cones could also be seen acting as barricades circling a broken pole.

“It was already bad with the lights working, but once this pole got hit and the lights came down it has been horrible. I have almost been at least hit four times,” said Shelia McNair.

McNair admits she is frustrated. She says these road issues are not only leaving drivers confused, but concerned over their safety, especially at night.

“Very much so at night because we these right here, people are not going to be able to see that at night. It is going to be a nightmare,” McNair said.

Over on Bailey Avenue, business owners and residents say the once-broken poles and lights are now working again after being out for nearly six months.

“It happened in May, so you can say it was a little longer than that. They repaired it several weeks ago,” Jackson resident Clint Young said.

While people in the area admit it was a multi-functional project, the process of getting things moving in the right direction was complex.

“Once you report to the necessary entities, then you should have some response especially when you have a district school. I will say they had plenty of time but that is not for me to call,” said Young.

We reached out to the mayor’s office about these issues and received this statement: “The mayor and the city engineer, Robert Lee met extensively to discuss the situation surrounding downed traffic poles. The mayor has asked Robert to make fixing those poles a top priority.”

“I want them to prioritize them fixing stop lights, potholes and just do your job and do what you need to do make us as safe as possible. I promise you I am not a basher, but this drives me nuts and makes me very angry,” one resident said.

Some good news, the city is making some progress. The traffic light at the intersection of Pear Orchard Road and Old Canton Road was broken Monday, but it was fixed Tuesday.

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