JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson Councilman Kenneth Stokes is calling on Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to address needed street and infrastructure repairs.
Stokes says public roadway safety is a growing concern in Jackson and says the public works department needs better leadership. The councilman says a telephone pole has been laying in the right side lane of Medgar Evers Boulevard and U.S. Highway 49 for weeks.
Red lights were also knocked out on the corner of Medgar Evers and Rideway Street. Neighbors say they city only barricaded the pole with traffic cones and placed stop signs on the road to act as a four-way stop.
Stokes says Lumumba needs to appoint a public safety director to repair what he says are dangerous roadway conditions before the city is held liable.
“Someone could run into this pole in the middle of the street. Could be a life taken by neglect. Elderly people are trying to drive to the doctor’s office and to the grocery store and to church, and then they might run into this. You have to have true leadership in this city. A public works director would be the person who would oversee these kinds of situations. If you’re not going to have a public works director, the man needs to do his job,” said Stokes.
“This road is 40 miles per hour. Cars can come through here and easily not see those barrels or see this light pole and run right into it and run into another car trying to evade it. There’s just not a concern in general about my neighbors, about myself, about the people that live in this community,” said Anthony Moore, a neighbor.
Stokes says lights also need to be repaired on Watkins Drive and the Bailey Avenue bridge.
A public safety director would have to be appointed by the mayor before the city council can approve the decision.
WJTV 12 News spoke with an official from the city about the safety concerns on Medgar Evers. They tell us they’re looking into it.