How the Broad Street Revamp Will Make Downtown Augusta More Walkable and Vibrant

If you’ve ever wondered why some downtowns feel more alive and inviting than others, chances are that the thriving ones have invested in streetscape improvements. Adding things like curb extensions, benches, green spaces, parks, sidewalk improvements, public art, and lighting make streets more pedestrian-friendly and walkable. While streetscape revamps may seem like minor touches, they can have a huge impact on how much we enjoy strolling, shopping, dining, and spending time in an outdoor setting. When done right, these upgrades transform dated and dull downtown corridors into vibrant community spaces that invite locals and visitors alike to gather, socialize, shop, and dine. Keep reading to learn how upcoming strategic streetscape enhancements will breathe new life into downtown Augusta.

Integrating Green Spaces and Public Seating

To continue making downtown more inviting and accessible, the downtown Augusta streetscape projects are incorporating green spaces and public seating. Trees, planters, gardens, and other natural elements will help soften the streetscape and make downtown more inviting. Public spaces such as plazas, parks, and common areas will provide residents and visitors places to sit, eat, play, and socialize. Features such as fountains, public art, and interactive kiosks will make spaces more engaging community focal points.

● Adding parks, gardens, and tree-lined sidewalks gives people reasons to spend more time outside. Offering plenty of seating or “street furniture” such as benches and stools in public areas allows visitors to relax, converse, and people watch. More seating will be incorporated along the Broad Street median and Augusta Common.

● Located on Broad Street, in close proximity to the Augusta Common, James Brown Linear Park will also include lots of additional public seating. The park plans will see The Godfather of Soul’s statue elevated. A new water feature and musical element will also be incorporated in the new design. Several unique shade structures will be installed to give visitors spaces to relax and enjoy the outdoor sights and sounds while being protected from direct sunlight. To encourage evening use, upgraded lighting and well-lit paths will help visitors feel safe and secure while also creating a welcoming, inviting atmosphere.

Making downtown greener and more appealing will pay off in spades. People will flock to lively public spaces, spending more time socializing, dining, attending events, and shopping in the area. The Broad Street streetscape revamp is just what downtown needs to become the destination spot it has long-deserved to be.

Prioritizing Pedestrian-Friendly Design Resurfacing and Parking Upgrades

To make downtown more modern and walkable, there will be road resurfacing and the restriping of traffic lanes. New bike lanes will be added in both directions, making for safer streets and smoother traffic flow. The outmoded parking wells or “pits” in the median of Broad Street will be raised to street level. This change will provide more on-street parking and help alleviate many of the frustrating parking experiences and flooding issues currently plaguing Broad Street. Storm system drainage repairs will also be part of the plans for road improvements.

Improving Crosswalks

Well-designed crosswalks are essential for walkability and needed to provide accessibility for everyone in our community. To accomplish this, specialty paving at intersections, curb extensions, and new handicap ramps have been included in the Broad Street streetscape project. Sidewalks will be repaired and remedied, allowing for a safer and more pedestrian-friendly walking experience.

Encouraging Ground Floor Retail

A dynamic streetscape with shops, restaurants, bars, and other businesses on the ground floor attracts pedestrians and generates foot traffic. Ground floor retail also provides more “eyes on the street,” which will make downtown feel more lively, safe, and active.

Revamping streetscapes with these pedestrian-friendly elements encourages more people to get out and explore downtown on foot. The end result is a more walkable, vibrant, thriving city that will attract both residents and visitors alike.

The ability to get around on foot in a pleasant and uncomplicated manner lends itself to more people shopping, dining, and spending time and money downtown. People attract people, which provides a positive cycle of activity.

In conclusion, when we invest in downtown, businesses thrive, and our community comes together for the betterment of all.

Find out more details on the streetscape projects as well as bi-weekly updates at

Tara Wood, Consultant
Downtown Development Authority of Augusta