Hike funding

Savannahians to vote on TSPLOST funding for Tide to Town urban trail

healthy savannah encourages opportunities for physical activity through the use of trails such as the construction of Truman Linear Park Trails the home straight is about to begin.

(SAVANNAH, GA) When Savannah residents go to the polls on Nov. 8, one of the questions they will consider is whether to vote for a bill Sales Tax on Local Special Purpose Transportation Option (TSPLOST). If passed, the measure would include $10 million for improved safety and connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, including funding for the continued construction of Tide to townSavannah’s Urban Trail System.

The Tide to Town funding would primarily be spent on the Middleground Road section of the trail, with the remainder going towards improving the cycleways on Habersham St. and general citywide improvements to crosswalks and cycleways.

“The proposed TSPLOST funds could be directed to any phase of the Middleground Road section of the trail, from design to construction, right-of-way acquisition,” said Caila Brown, President of Friends of Tide. to Town and Executive Director of Bike ride in the savannah. “The city has applied for various grant funds that would be supplemented by TSPLOST.”

The Middleground Road phase of Tide to Town is an approximately three-mile section of trail with the northern terminus at Abercorn and Montgomery Crossroads and the southern terminus at Abercorn/204 Extension and Science Drive on Georgia Southern’s Armstrong campus.

The Tide to Town trail system is also supported by a network of local partners which includes the Coastal Georgia YMCA and healthy savannah as administrators of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) provide funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The continued expansion of the Tide To Town Trail, and cycling and walking infrastructure in general, supports the goals of Active People, Healthy Nationsaid Armand Turner, Healthy Savannah Physical Activity Program Manager and Tide to Town Board Member. “This CDC-led national program to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027 is central to the Healthy Savannah physical activity goals and champion of the “Y” through the REACH grant initiative .”

Active People, Healthy Nation seeks to move approximately:
* 15 million adults from inactive (no aerobic activity) to moderate-intensity activity every day, such as brisk walking.
*10 million adults move from some physical activity to meeting minimum aerobic physical activity guidelines.
*2 million young people move from some physical activity to meeting minimum aerobic physical activity guidelines.

To achieve this goal, communities, including Savannah, are using REACH grant funding to help implement evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity across all sectors and settings. Providing equitable and inclusive access to safe places for physical activity is the foundation of each strategy. The CDC additionally monitors physical activity levels across the National Health Interview Survey and the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

Statistics published recently by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) at the 19th edition State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report, found that four in ten American adults are obese, and obesity rates continue to climb nationally and across population groups. Nineteen states had adult obesity rates over 35%, up from 16 states last year. Ten years ago, no state had an adult obesity rate of 35% or higher.

Georgia’s obesity rate in 2021 fell slightly to 33.9 from 34.3 in 2021, but remains concerning.

“I’m thrilled to see that Georgia is one of nine states where the obesity rate has dropped year over year,” said Paula Kreissler, executive director of Healthy Savannah. “But, the percentage of Georgian adults with obesity is still higher than the US average, and rates of related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension continue to be high. We know that these persistent increases underscore that obesity is caused by a combination of factors, including societal, biological, genetic and environmental, that are beyond personal choice. This disparity is amplified in black and brown communities where food insecurity can be prevalent.

The CDC estimates that obesity is expected to increase health care spending in the United States by $170 billion a year, including billions through Medicare and Medicaid.

According to Active People, Healthy Nation; increased physical activity can improve health and quality of life while reducing health care costs. The program encourages regular physical activity to help reduce the risk of at least 20 chronic diseases and conditions and provide effective treatment for many of these conditions. Other potential benefits include better academic performance and better military readiness.

“Building active, walkable communities has shown benefits beyond physical health,” Turner said. “They can help support our local economy, reduce air pollution and create a more cohesive community.”

Construction of another vital link to Tide to Town, the Savannah Urban Trail System, is scheduled to begin in early 2023. The final three-mile stretch of the Truman Linear Park Trail from DeRenne Avenue to 52nd Street , will fully connect the Mayer Lake Park Trail Loop. to the Daffin Park Trail Loop, creating nine miles of continuous off-road and on-road bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the heart of Savannah. Construction of the trail was fully funded earlier in the year with a $3 million appropriation announced by U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA).

“These funds for the Truman Linear Park Trail will flow from the Federal Department of Transportation to Georgia DOT and then to the City of Savannah,” said Savannah City Manager Jay Melder. “The measure was passed as part of an omnibus federal spending bill, which is a combination of several appropriation bills that fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.”

When the Truman Linear Park Trail is completed, it will connect Lake Mayer Park to Daffin Park and will include connections to six neighborhoods, Memorial Health University Medical Center, Guy Minick Youth Complex, Jenkins High School, Bacon Park Tennis Courts, Scarborough Sports Complex, Bacon Park Golf Course, Jennifer Ross Soccer Complex, Chatham County Aquatic Center, Savanah Botanical Gardens and other public amenities. The multi-purpose route will provide an ADA-accessible off-road path for recreational and transportation use by residents and visitors and will feature lighting for nighttime use, security cameras and emergency call boxes.

The city of the savannah previously had funds in place for the trail design, which is now complete,” said Nick Deffley, Director of Sustainability. “We expect construction to begin in early 2023.”

The core route of the Tide to Town Global Urban Trails Network is expected to consist of nearly 30 miles of protected walking and biking trails across Savannah, from downtown to marshes and waterways. For more details visit https://tidetotown.org/

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH: In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. Awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the funding is being deployed in an “upstream” approach by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to foster sustainable health equity among Black residents of inner-city neighborhoods. The goal of the local project, called Healthy Opportunities Powering Equity, or HOPE, is to increase the availability of high-quality food; promote physical activity by creating better access to safe places to walk, run, cycle and play; and fostering stronger connections between people and the health care providers who serve them. Working with over 200 community partners and organizations, the team is committed to improving community health and well-being through policies, systems and environmental change. In July 2022, Healthy Savannah received the CDC’s 2022 REACH Lark Galloway-Gilliam Award for Advancing the Health Equity Challenge. The award recognizes extraordinary individuals and entities whose work has helped advance health equity.healthysavannah.org ymcaofcoastalga.org.

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