SAVANNAH, Georgia – Last month’s approval of Bike + Walk Coastal Georgia (BWCG), a comprehensive regional bicycle and pedestrian plan, has the East Coast Greenway route through the state poised for future growth, greatly enhancing safe places to walk and bike in coastal Georgia.
On Aug. 12, Georgia’s Council of the Coastal Regional Commission approved Bike + Walk Coastal Georgia, which is designed to help local governments establish a long-term vision, improve connectivity and ensure safety for people walking and bicycling within and throughout coastal counties.
The Commission exists to “develop, promote and provide comprehensive planning and development services” for the 10 counties and 35 cities of coastal Georgia.
Bike + Walk Coastal Georgia provides a framework for creating a connected system of bicycling and pedestrian facilities that will serve the needs of coastal Georgia’s residents and visitors. This new plan is an update to the 2005 Coastal Georgia Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and will be used to guide land use and transportation planning decisions to foster a safer, more liveable region. Once implemented, the plan will create a network of paved trails and other facilities across the 10-county region, which will allow walking and bicycling to be a safe, accessible part of everyday life, whether for daily errands or weekend exploration.
“With this new plan, coastal Georgia is finally poised to join its neighboring states in planning, designing and building the East Coast Greenway. The plan’s acknowledgement of the Greenway and other regionally significant trails, like Tide to Town in Savannah, will greatly aid local efforts to finally build this long awaited infrastructure,” says Brent Buice, East Coast Greenway Alliance South Carolina and Georgia Coordinator.
The Bike + Walk Coastal Georgia plan was a collaborative effort between regional and local governments, state and regional agencies, along with nonprofit and community-based groups, including the East Coast Greenway Alliance.
Other partners include Georgia Safe Routes to School, Georgia Bikes, the University of Georgia, Bike Walk Savannah, The Zeist Foundation, Adventure Cycling Association and Camden Bike Center. The plan was developed in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation and supported through State Planning and Research (SPR) Funds.
The state is poised for Greenway growth. In addition to the Bike + Walk Coastal Georgia plan, four Georgia projects are construction-ready and listed as part of the East Coast Greenway’s Greenway Stimulus campaign, an effort to raise awareness with federal lawmakers about the benefits of including greenways and trails in the next round of infrastructure investment.
Currently 14 miles of the East Coast Greenway route through Georgia are on protected greenways. Learn more about the Greenway in Georgia at greenway.org.
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