Downtown Augusta is a hopping place most Friday and Saturday nights. When First Fridays come along, the place literally rocks out - young and old come downtown to stroll, gallery hop and dine on Broad Street.
But come Sunday morning, the place is a wreck. Cigarette butts litter the sidewalks, broken beer bottles are strewed about, paper cups and other garbage hug the curbs and the place begins to have a characteristic smell. It's too early in the morning to describe this particular odor.
Something the city ought to pay more attention to is the general appearance of the downtown streets. As commerce picks up and more people rediscover the area, they need to be left with a good impression.
Some of the responsibility rests on the merchants and restaurateurs, who as a matter of civic pride could have someone sweeping the sidewalks in front of their establishments.
But after all, the city owns the streets and has street sweepers, which could be marshaled into service early Sunday mornings. Fire trucks could be used to hose down sidewalks once a week. And the small crew assigned to downtown could be reassigned to work Saturday and Sunday shifts. City departments can get the job done if they are given some guidance.
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