Who handles your concerns over city intersections?

Question raised after Jacksonville woman asks for guidance on social media

Senetta Baker asks the City of Jacksonville who is in charge of downtown intersections.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Both the city of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are looking into a Jacksonville woman’s concern about a downtown intersection after she posted about it on social media. 

At first, Cenetta Baker was a bit confused over the response she got Tuesday when she tagged the city in a tweet, asking who to talk to about her concern about drivers frequently running the red light. 

She got answers from both agencies. At first, JSO and the city each responded by tagging the other agency. 

News4Jax reached out to all parties involved to clear up who is responsible for handling concerns about intersections and how the agencies want residents to let them know. 

When News4Jax visited the intersection Thursday, it was evident it gets a lot of foot traffic, especially in the morning, during the lunch hour and in the evening. 

Baker works feet from the intersection and wasn’t the only one with concerns about it. Several people told News4Jax that despite waiting until the crosswalk said it’s their turn, some drivers run the red light. 

“There have been several times in just the past few months where it has been blatant,” Baker said. “The light has been on red for several seconds. This person is speeding. They don’t attempt to slow down. I’m in a crosswalk.”

Baker decided it was time to contact the city. She did so Tuesday on Twitter, asking who to talk to about the issue. The city said to try JSO. JSO said they would handle the traffic issue, but the trees would be a city matter.  

On Thursday, the city clarified it originally did not see the bottom of Baker’s tweet that said, “I don’t know if it is the trees."

The city said as soon as it saw that part of the tweet, within 24 hours, its engineer examined the intersection and found there was no issue with the intersection or location of trees, finding instead that it’s driver behavior. 

JSO said it’s also looking into Baker’s concern. 

“I think it’s more not just on JSO, but certainly on the residents to say hey, if it were you crossing, would you want somebody to be speeding where you’re walking and running red lights?” Baker asked. “If the answer is no, then perhaps you should slow down.”

JSO said its commander for the downtown zone, which includes the intersection, will be assessing the situation, which the agency said shouldn’t take long. 

The city also addressed replying to messages and posts on social media and said it does receive messages from quite a few people reporting problems via social media, which the city’s public affairs team works together to answer as quickly as possible. 

The city said, in this past weekend alone, it received more than a half-dozen direct messages on social media that employees not only answered outside of business hours, but to which they were finding solutions before open of business n Monday. 

The city said it strives to serve the citizens via social media, but said there’s a much better system in place for addressing concerns. Calling 630-CITY will make sure that an issue goes to the correct department immediately and even creates a way for the caller to follow the progress of what they’re reporting. 

The city also has a new and improved system for handling citizens’ concerns launching in the beginning of August, and the city plans to release more information on that soon. 

JSO sent News4Jax the statement below about the agency’s social media use:

“The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office offers many ways to communicate with us.  Social media is one of them.  If someone has a traffic complaint such as this one,  we will forward the information to the Zone Commander for review and follow-up if needed.  That was replied to her in a tweet as a response.  If someone reaches out to us about a non-JSO issue such as garbage not being picked up, trees that need to be cut, a code enforcement issue, speed bumps being requested, we will tag the appropriate agency to give them a sense of direction of who handles that issue and who to reach out to.  We commonly facilitate these requests on Twitter, Facebook, Nextdoor, and Instagram.  

"The only issue we see is people reporting via social media, issues that need an immediate police response or they expect an immediate response to their post.   JSO social media is not monitored 24/7 and should not be used to report anything that needs an immediate police response.

"With close to 900,000 Duval County residents, both the city and JSO get a lot of questions and concerns. Here are the best ways to contact them:

  • "For a city concern -- contact 630-CITY -- you can also learn how to track the progress of your report. 
  • "The city is also coming out with a new system in early August to help handle concerns. 
  • "For a JSO traffic concern -- the agency recommends e-mailing JSOTrafficComplaints@jaxsheriff.org."