City fixes blind spot on road near senior center, park 1 day after I-TEAM steps in

Residents say they felt their safety concerns about overgrowth were ignored

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The I-TEAM is getting results for residents in Northwest Jacksonville who felt their safety concerns were being ignored by the city.

Neighbors contacted us about overgrown trees, bushes and weeds that had created a dangerous blind spot at the intersection of East Water and Water streets -- the only way in and out of Riverview Community Center and Riverview Park.

Even though their complaints were made to the city three months ago, nothing had been done, and we learned nothing was scheduled to be done until May, 2019.

But, on Thursday, one day after the I-TEAM went to city leaders, the problem was fixed.

"It's pretty dangerous coming in and out of here," Johnny Hart told the I-TEAM Wednesday morning. 

Hart contacted us for help, sharing photos along with documentation of his complaints he's filed with the city since September 2018.

"It's city property. All of it. The road, the park, everything," said Hart.

He and other senior citizens visit the community center every day for meals and entertainment. Hart said he’s seen way too many close calls at the intersection, adding he was almost run off the road himself.

"You’ve got to get your face about right here, before you really know if anything is coming to turn in down there. And then, once you get out here, you can’t really look around that curb," Hart showed us as he pulled into the intersection. "It’s dangerous. Somebody’s going to get hurt."

The I-TEAM contacted city officials Wednesday, who said Hart's complaints were entered into the city's CARE system last year, but we're told the cleanup isn't slated to be done until this coming May.

We then brought the issue to the attention of City Councilwoman Ju'Coby Pittman, who represents that area.

"According to the city, it wasn't going to be fixed until May. You think that's too far?" we asked Pittman.

"Oh, I definitely think that's way too far, especially if it's a safety issue," Pittman said. "I have worked with the departments to let them know it's definitely an urgency and safety issue, and they have guaranteed me it will be taken care of immediately."

"You agree this is a dangerous scenario?" we asked Pittman.

"Oh absolutely, absolutely." she answered. "I mean, I wouldn't want my grandmother or my mother to come out of an area to be sideswiped, or even a fatality."

Thursday, 24 hours after the I-TEAM contacted the city and Councilwoman Pittman, the overgrowth was trimmed and the blind spot was cleared. 

Pittman says she's formed a group of ambassadors to spot blight and other issues in District 8 and will be holding a community cleanup next month. To find out more, you can call her office at 630-1676 or email JPittman@coj.net.

If you have a request for the city of Jacksonville or a complaint to file, you can do it online or call 630-CITY. Be sure to get the CARE issue number associated with your request or complaint. This will act as a confirmation number and give you a way to track your issue.

If you are concerned your issue isn't being addressed, you can contact your City Council representative. You will find contact information for each Jacksonville council member here. If you are unsure which council member represents your neighborhood, click here.


About the Authors: