Healthy Savannah and YMCA Work to Improve Safety for People Walking and Biking
(SAVANNAH, GA) Nearly 70% of the more than 700 miles of paved streets within the Savannah city limits lack sidewalks. That lack is considered a factor in the average of 168 crashes involving pedestrians that Savannah experiences each year. Adding to those concerns is the fact that students are now preparing to return to in-person learning at school after an absence of nearly 16 months, which means students soon will be walking or biking to class alongside drivers who are now unaccustomed to their presence.
To help create safer neighborhoods for people walking and biking, Healthy Savannah (https://healthysavannah.org/)
Organizers, neighbors and community members are walking neighborhoods to identify barriers such as a lack of sidewalks, cracked pavement, inaccessible intersections and poor shade due to lack of tree canopies. The effort is among those funded by a five-year, $3.4 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control which was awarded to Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. The grant, known by the acronym REACH for Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (https://www.cdc.gov/
According to a March report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (https://www.ghsa.org/
Turner says the Healthy Savannah and YMCA team members may offer assistance to other community members wishing to utilize the Activity Friendly Routes to Everyday Destinations Neighborhood Plan in their neighborhoods. This includes access to an app that volunteers can use to easily map the safety barriers. The organizers are also providing volunteers with items ranging from T-shirts to water bottles and hats. For more information, contact Armand Turner at armand.turner@
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