Recently, an ordinance changed traffic from one-way to two-way through downtown Augusta (“Augusta councilors approve 2-way traffic downtown,” July 19). This will effect the residents who live, work and visit. As a result there are varied opinions. During the process, emotions arose, but never spilled over to inappropriate behavior, as we often see in today’s public discourse. I thank all who participated in the gathering of information and presentation of opinions. The council took a detailed look at the matter, and the change was made.

During the process of working through the issue something magnificent occurred — a generation found their voice. The further we went down the road reviewing the pros and cons, the more the youth of the Downtown Alliance emerged focused and determined. For decades, others have tried and failed to move the needle in the downtown district. Others failed to engage for feeling it to be hopeless.

For the past 15 years we hoped the next generation would stay, or come to live in Augusta. Faced with plenty of skepticism and deep doubts, a handful of young people have worked to create a new downtown neighborhood of residence and shops — a place we all can use and be proud of. That group is growing, their voices are coming together, and their cause is clear — to make Augusta a special place to visit, live, work and play.

The enthusiasm, as a result of the desire to change the traffic flow on Water Street, was wonderful to experience. Regardless of what each of us may feel, the children we so want to stay and make Augusta their home, have grown up and found the power and spirit of demanding change.

We all should embrace the changes they fought for in a civil manner and catch their spirit of revitalization. The youth of Augusta have risen and they are changing their world.

Mayor David Rollins

Augusta

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