Athens seems like a very small town, and, in fact, it is. In some ways. It’s the smallest county in Georgia. But it has urban opportunities and challenges. So…
1) No matter where you park your vehicle, lock the doors and leave nothing of value in sight. Nothing. No change in the ashtray or on the dashboard, no iPad or Macbook or digital camera on the back seat, no purse on the passenger seat. Nothing. Because there are people who come to Athens just to steal your change, iPad, Macbook and digital camera, plus your clothes, papers and food, from your car. They’re fast and efficient.
2) Young women, please don't go jogging on Milledge Avenue alone after dark. Just don’t do it. Drive or take a bus to Ramsey and jog on the indoor track. Or round up a few friends and go to the UGA track. There’s nothing like a busy street for getting attacked—no one will hear your cries for help. Of course, if you take Rover and he tips in at 80+ pounds and can hold a basketball in his jaws, then go ahead and jog on Milledge.
3) Young men, please don’t come tottering home from downtown at 2am or 3 am, thinking no one will bother you because you’re a student and you have no money to speak of. Maybe five or ten bucks, tops. There are people who have robbed stores in Athens at gunpoint for less than $50. Your $10 looks pretty good. Take a taxi home. Call a friend. If you’re in a dorm, call your RA.
4) Please don’t try to text while driving your SUV with a diet Coke in the other hand. You can’t navigate the narrow streets surrounding the university while you are holding a steering wheel and a Coke or a cell phone. Why not put your phone in your pocket or purse to avoid temptation?
5) The people you see along the side of the road are pedestrians. Please go slowly and come to a complete stop at a stop sign because you may have a pedestrian trying to cross. And a pedestrian always has the right of way.