We know that many of our neighborhoods don’t have sidewalks, bike lanes, and safe ways to walk or roll. We are working to change that, but we need your help! Healthy Savannah is working with neighborhood residents to develop “Activity-Friendly Routes to Everyday Destinations Neighborhood Plans” to help identify how we can create safer places for walking and biking AND develop a plan of action!
Healthy Savannah and the Tide To Town team are working with priority neighborhoods to develop specific strategies and recommendations to improve conditions for walking and biking at the neighborhood level, with the specific goal of connecting neighborhoods to the Tide To Town Urban Trail System. The Truman Linear Park Trail, the first segment of Tide To Town constructed, has quickly become a beloved asset for our community.
Activity-Friendly Routes to Everyday Destinations:
A Neighborhood-Based Strategy
Here’s How It Works!
1. Host a Conversation with the Neighborhood
Healthy Savannah, in conjunction with the Tide To Town team, meets with the community to discuss your priorities, challenges, and opportunities relating to activity-friendly routes. Ideally, the neighborhood will have two or three team leaders to help recruit others for the next step.
2. Conduct a Neighborhood Street Safety Audit
This fun and engaging audit is a great way to actively involve the neighborhood in the process. Residents simply walk down neighborhood streets and record what they see – are there sidewalks in need of repair or no sidewalk at all? Are there busy intersections where people need to cross the street frequently, but no crosswalk? We provide the tools and training, and you help provide the volunteers! The audit can be conducted with a customize smartphone app or on a paper form.
3. Develop Your Neighborhood Plan
After the data collection through the Neighborhood Street Safety Audit, the Tide To Town team will work with the residents to draft a neighborhood-level plan for activity-friendly routes in your neighborhood. Throughout this process, we will work with the City of Savannah to help move this process from planning to implementation. Participation of your residents is critical to develop a plan for the neighborhood, by the neighborhood.
Who Can Participate?
Currently, our work is focused in the following neighborhoods: Edgemere/Sackville, Historic Carver Village, Blackshear/Eastside, and Southside/Wilshire Estates.
Other priority neighborhoods we plan to collaborate with in the future include Yamacraw Village, Cuyler-Brownsville/Metropolitan, South Garden, Jackson Park, Cann Park, Kayton/Frazier, Feiler Park/Hussards Terrace, and West Savannah.
Making the Connections
The Tide To Town Urban Trail System will be a protected network of walking and bicycling trails connecting all of Savannah and Chatham County, from the heart of the city to our marshes and waterways. The “core route” (shown in blue) is more than 30 miles and will connect 30 K-12 schools, four universities and colleges, all three major hospitals, and 62 neighborhoods! However, to truly be a benefit to our community, it must be accessible to everyone! Through the Activity-Friendly Routes to Everyday Destinations Neighborhood Plans, our goal is to ensure neighborhoods have easy and safe access to Tide To Town.
Healthy Savannah, in partnership with the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, was awarded a five-year grant known as REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health). One of our major programs through this funding is to increase physical activity throughout the community. Click here to learn more about our work with REACH.
For more information, please contact Armand Turner, Physical Activity Program Manager, CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Grant, YMCA of Coastal Georgia / Healthy Savannah, 219.801.1477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.