Savannah’s Police Memorial Trail officially reopened last Monday, November 29. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the trailhead on the corner of Kerry St. and Dixie Ave., where City and County officials gathered with the Tide to Town board and members of the community to celebrate the conclusion of the five-year renovation effort.
Extending from Kerry St. to near the corner of 52nd St. and Bee Rd., the Police Memorial Trail was originally constructed by Chatham County in the 1990s but had been closed and awaiting repairs since 2016 after being damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The City of Savannah allocated nearly $600,000 for the project.
“This is an important link in the Tide to Town trail system,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson. “As the entire system takes shape, with smooth concrete paths, we are building a safer connection for residents and visitors to access parks, neighborhoods, schools and businesses. I hope it inspires people to get out and get healthier.”
Additionally supported by the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah through funding from the Centers for Disease Control’s Racial & Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, the system will eventually become a protected network of walking and biking trails that will span more than 30 miles, linking 62 of Savannah’s neighborhoods, 30 schools, hospitals, universities, waterways and recreational areas and creating activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations.
“Tide To Town is a unifying path toward a healthier, safer, and more equitable Savannah,” said former Savannah Mayor Dr. Otis Johnson, an advocate of the trail program since talks began in the late 1990s. “Since those early years, the need for more bike-friendly and walkable neighborhoods within Savannah has only grown.”
Development of the trail system was spurred by Savannah’s Strategic Plan, which states, “By 2023, 75 percent of neighborhoods [will be] connected to walking and biking infrastructure.” A 2018 survey by Chatham Parks and Recreations additionally found that among the most desired community improvements were paved trails and paths.
Friends of Tide to Town hopes the next phase known as Truman Linear Park Trail Phase 2B, will begin construction in summer 2022 and connect the two existing trail segments. Upcoming phases of Tide to Town will include the west side of Savannah through the developing Canal District, and on the south side of Savannah along Middleground Road. For more details, visit tidetotown.org/