Why does the downtown Augusta crosswalk voice have a southern accent?

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 5:38 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - If you’ve been walking downtown on Broad Street, you may have noticed some subtle additions to our crosswalks.

Press the button to cross and you’ll hear a voice guiding you across the street.

The accent is one you’ll only hear in Augusta.

“Walk sign is on to cross Broad Street. Walk sign is on.”

“I’m from New York and we definitely don’t have that,” said Jennifer Moran.

When Moran moved to Augusta, she had to make sure she heard it right.

“The voice is a weird sound, I mean it throws you off at first, but you get used to it I guess,” said Moran.

“Walk sign is on to cross 12th Street.”

Assistant Director of Traffic, Augusta Engineering John Ussery said: “They have some prerecorded messages you can use, or you can record your own message.”

Ussery says they wanted something unique for Augusta. They could’ve used the generic voice, but they decided to do it themselves.

“It’s actually someone that we have on staff who we volunteered to record the voices that you hear today,” he said.

He didn’t want to appear on camera, but his voice can be heard every day.

“Some people that aren’t from here, especially if they’re not from the south, they sort of get a little bit of a chuckle out of it, especially because he has that southern drawl in his voice,” said Ussery.

Ussery believes a lot of people in the community like it. Moran is getting used to it.

“It’s definitely a voice you can get used to,” she said.

He says he has no plans to change it.