Over the past few years, I have attended meetings about the 5th Street Bridge. The Bridge is permanently closed to vehicle traffic and will be transformed into a pedestrian park on our beautiful Riverwalk. If you have not walked that Riverwalk trail recently, I recommend you take the time to see the changes. With ADP on one end and the two Cyber Center buildings on the other, you see people out all day, eating lunch, taking a walk for fun, enjoying a Zen break and taking pleasure in the beautiful river views.
Very soon you’ll be able to walk onto the 5th Street Bridge and enjoy the river from the center – maybe sitting in a swing or putting a quarter into a viewer for a long-distance view of the Savannah River. At night the bridge will be lighted. I cannot wait to see what that looks like.
When I went to the first bridge meeting, we were presented with a plan that left the bridge… a bridge. The planners had incorporated a bike lane on one side to the bridge. I gently asked what they were thinking. If we plan to use that bridge as an additional place to “recreate,” to pause and enjoy our downtown, to play with kids and pets, we really can’t have bikes zooming past us.
I suggested we treat the bridge just like the Pedestrian dock at Waterfront Park in Downtown Charleston; a place to rest, relax, picnic and enjoy the views of the harbor. If you are riding your bike, you jump off and stroll down the dock for a while. Same in Augusta, if you park in North Augusta to spend your day enjoying our downtown trails, you walk your bike for the short span of the bridge, then jump on and continue your day on wheels.
Perhaps if we thought of it as the 5th Street Park, we’d accept the changes.
See you downtown!