News 12 at 6 o'clock, June 29, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---An Augusta taxpayer is taking action. She says commissioners need to hold the state's feet to the fire to clean up highway exit ramps--especially the ones off I-20 and Bobby Jones.
Georgia's highways provide a front seat view to its cities and landscapes, but some folks in Augusta say trash and overgrown weeds aren't just an eyesore...they're embarrassing.
"Augusta is no longer the Garden City. It's the Weed City," said Lynn Reed. She made a plea to county commissioners two weeks ago to clean up Augusta's exit ramps, because the state isn't doing it.
"It's frightening to think I want to get off an exit because I can't even see what's down the road," she said.
What bothers Lynn is the littered landscape. Cardboard boxes, soda cans, cigarettes, and the overgrown grass not getting mowed for weeks. It's far from scenic, and an unwelcoming sight for out-of-towners.
Lynn also says it's unsafe.
"There's a perception we don't even have enough money to mow our grass, let alone protect our people."
We took Lynn's concerns to Commissioner Joe Bowles. He admits the Department of Transportation has hit the brakes on beautifying Augusta's interchanges.
"Eventually the city's going to have to take the responsibility, because it's obvious the state can't handle it," he said.
It's a decision drivers hope will be made soon, as unflattering signs continue to be posted and trash thrown out of windows.