Sidewalks needed in the Garden City

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Augusta is growing, but so is the need for sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly facilities.

“This space was not built for you. It was built for machines, and you are intruding on the machine’s space,” Tara Najim, a local woman described Augusta streets– the opposite of pedestrian-friendly.

She presented a request to city council Tuesday to have a sidewalk built on West Wheeler Parkway, near her home.  In the past two years, she and her two kids have walked her neighborhood twice.

“Pushing an enormous double stroller when sharing the road with cars cruising by, to be honest it’s really scary,” Najim said.

Her request to the city is on the back burner for now.

Ron Lampkin, Augusta’s Traffic Engineer Manager, said the county just completed a self-transition plan, evaluating existing sidewalks and areas that need sidewalks. The first step– take care of sidewalks near schools.

“In the transition plan, it will discuss everything that needs to be fixed as far as pedestrian facilities, push buttons, bus stops, sidewalks. We’re probably looking at upwards to get everything done maybe 40 to 50 million dollars,” Lampkin said.

He said new projects now include updating pedestrian facilities.

“In most areas it’s not pedestrian friendly. The downtown was one of the areas that was made pedestrian friendly, but the further you move off in the rural areas, you kind of lack sidewalks and connectivity,” Lampkin told NewsChannel 6.

He said after schools and public park sidewalks are developed, a focus on residential sidewalks will come into play.

“I think Augusta has forgotten that cars are not the only means of transportation. Even when it’s not about transportation, those who want to walk are not the minority,” Najim said.

Lampkin said the Windsor Spring Project is a step in the right direction– the project will produce an 8 foot asphalt path from Tobacco Road to Highway 88.

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