Dangerous intersection crosswalk signal doesn't work

Author: Jim Piggott, General assignment reporter, jpiggott@wjxt.com
Published On: Oct 10 2013 02:42:39 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 11 2013 12:05:05 PM EDT
Crosswalk signal
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The intersection of Mayport Road and Plaza Street is a dangerous one for pedestrians, and it doesn't help that the crosswalk signal doesn't work properly.

People trying to cross there say they can't do so safely. Some say they have to wait more than 20 minutes for the signal to change.

The area has been a trouble spot, with three accidents involving pedestrians in the last six months.

Bishop Smith, who was trying to cross Mayport Road at the intersection Thursday morning, said it's like taking his life in his own hands. He pushed the button and nothing happened.

Smith said he knew it'd take about 20 minutes for the crosswalk light to change, and he wasn't about to wait that long.

Others have said the same thing and have reported the problem.

"We called for four months and the crosswalk does not work," Ken Waters said. "It does not give you the authorization to cross. We reported it to the Atlantic Beach Police Department and the city. Both said they would follow up, and at this point it has not been fixed. It's a very dangerous intersection."

Channel 4's Jim Piggott tested the signal, and while one end of the crosswalk allowed him to cross, the other did not. That said, it appears the problem is the button.

After being told people have complained for months, a Florida Department of Transportation spokesman said officials would send someone to fix the signal. But on Friday, FDOT said it's not responsible for the signal, but the city is.

A city spokeswoman said it is its responsibility and said there has been some confusion. The spokeswoman said the city is working to fix it.

If a crosswalk signal doesn't work, Channel 4 safety expert Ken Jefferson has these recommendations:

"Unfortunately, you have to take the long way around and cross this intersection and the next and maybe cross the next intersection," he said. "If you are trying to get just on the other side, you have to err on the side of caution."