A needed road trip

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Augusta’s downtown Riverwalk draws a lot of attention – from everyone, it seems, except the city tasked with maintaining it.

Hopefully, that’s about to change.

Just over a month since the milestone May 3 beating of a couple there, Augusta commissioners Monday toured the
multilevel strolling place along the Savannah to see what condition it was in.

They noticed lights out, muddy sidewalks, poorly maintained landscaping and other signs of neglect of the city’s third-most-popular tourist attraction.

It may be the only thing that busy convention-goers see for themselves, if they take a walk from events at the convention center and adjacent hotels attached to the Riverwalk.

The city can, and must, do better.

Landscaping and lighting are only the start of the changes that need to be made on the Riverwalk and on much of the riverfront downtown. We’ll address the bigger picture in an upcoming editorial.

For the moment, it’s encouraging to see the Augusta Commission leave its chambers and take a foot tour on a rainy day to see what’s going on for themselves.

Individually, commissioners no doubt get out a lot. Group field trips have been few and far between. It’s good for them, and good for the city, to get out and see things for themselves, together.

The city budget had to be cut back in recent years, and that affected maintenance. But a premium must be put on keeping up the Riverwalk and making it safer. To do anything else, while inviting visitors to enjoy themselves there, would be the height of negligence.

We hope this is just the start of frequent outings by the Augusta Commission. Attending meeting after indoor meeting, it’s easy to get lost in the minutia of government, and  perhaps lose sight of the big picture. And sometimes the big picture is best seen through a crack in a sidewalk or in the darkness put out by a broken streetlight.

Going forward, as a group the Augusta Commission will undoubtedly be more focused on conditions at the Riverwalk after their movable meeting there Monday. And that’s all to the good.

They should take their act on the road more often.

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deestafford 06/12/13 - 12:34 am
Why did it take a grammar school type field trip for them

to see what they should have checked out on their own long, long ago?

I agree the group show trips will accomplish something because they will now be forced to look and know that they are being watched as they look.

To me, River Walk has been a dereliction of duty on the part of all the commissioners and especially the one in whom's district it is located.

If River Walk is supposed to be a crown jewel in the city's tourist attraction, nobody has been watching the jewels.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 06/12/13 - 11:58 am

A regular maintenance program would have cost a lot less than the repairs that will be needed now! The department and department head in charge as well as the supervisor for that area should be looked at a lot closer!

Riverman1 06/12/13 - 12:12 pm
A well maintained, neat area

A well maintained, neat area where even minor laws are enforced has been proven to keep major crime in check. Those with criminal intent tend not to escalate to serious crimes in such areas.

David Parker
David Parker 06/12/13 - 12:34 pm
After paying "liasons" 200+

After paying "liasons" 200+ an hour, not much left for light bulbs and a weed-eater. That's always the reason right, not enough revenue?

corgimom 06/12/13 - 04:53 pm
This is PR nonsense, the

This is PR nonsense, the condition of the Riverwalk is no big secret, it's been bad for years.

itsanotherday1 06/12/13 - 06:07 pm
Exactly Corgimom! This didn't

Exactly Corgimom! This didn't start just last year, it has been deteriorating for a long time. Soon it will look like the rest of downtown.

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