Commission set to visit Riverwalk after safety concerns

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Sunday, June 9, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Just about everyone who visits the Augusta Riverwalk can appreciate its nature and beauty, but after a series of attacks in downtown Augusta, commissioners are coming Monday to see how they can make it safer. And that shouldn't be good news just for people who live in the area, that's also good news for people who work in the area.

John Hires has been selling newspapers the last few years in downtown Augusta and says the job can be hard.

"You really have to have a good spot and you have to get lucky -- and a lot of your money is made on tips," Hires said.

Business has been slow the last couple of weeks, and Hires says he thinks he know why.

"The attack on the Rivewalk, the Rivewalk attack," he said.

Hires works just a few feet away from where attacks have taken place recently. However, he says he hopes Monday's tour by commissioners will help not only his business but also visitors.

"I love this town. I love the river, and I like to see people here that are not scared," Hires said.

The Riverwalk has plenty of lights, but none of the pathways have cameras or emergency call boxes that we could find. Hires says cameras may be a good option, but he's against losing privacy, so instead he thinks something else could be better.

"We definitely need the right to bear arms, which is in the Constitution. You might get attacked by an alligator, you might get attacked with someone with a gun," he said.

Hires says not everyone may agree with him, but everyone does want to be safe, and ultimately, you're the only person that can take care of you.

Commissioners will meet Monday at 10 a.m. While the main concern is safety, other issues like cutting shrubbery and making the Riverwalk more inviting will also be looked at.


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