Coastal Greenway legislation approved

Excellent news from the General Assembly! Via the press release below from our friends at the Coastal Georgia Greenway, we’ve learned that Senate Resolution 26 has passed both chambers of the state legislature:Last week S.R. 26 by Ron Stephens (R) Savannah, passed the Georgia State House of Representatives. The resolution, sponsored initially by Senator William Ligon (R) in the Senate calls for a Joint House/Senate Coastal Greenway Study Committee.  Recognizing that the proposed 155-mile multi-purpose trail linking South Carolina to Florida through Georgia’s six coastal counties, is already 24% complete and that when fully built, the paved trail will 

connect six counties, ten cities, over 118,500 acres in wildlife preserves, local, state and national parks and historic sites and 12 historic districts this greenway trail has the making of a project that can have a signature impact on a regional scale.  By linking historic towns, beaches, harbors and rivers the Coastal Georgia Greenway can define Georgia’s coast for the next generation.   “I am ready to meet with Co-Chairs as appointed by Governor Deal and to begin work on the feasibility study, maybe as early as May,” says Jo Claire Hickson, Executive Director of the Coastal Georgia Greenway, Inc., which has worked closely with coastal communities to fund the trail.

The new Legislative Study Committee will undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems related to trail construction and to recommend any action or legislation, which the committee deems necessary or appropriate to be presented for action by the Georgia Legislature in 2016. The resolution cites background issues concerning the proposed 155-mile greenway multi-purpose trail recognizing that bicycling, walking, hiking, and jogging are healthful exercises as well as wholesome forms of outdoor recreation suitable for families of all ages; and that by providing alternative means of transportation, the Coastal Georgia Greenway will help alleviate automobile traffic and air pollution and provide another choice for commuting to work or play for all ages and income groups in our state; and that facilities for such activities can also be designed for use by handicapped individuals who would not otherwise be able to travel on roads and highways.  

The resolution further states that it has been proposed to create a separate paved trail on city and county owned rights of way and  on U.S. and state owned rights of way such as  U.S. 17 and Georgia Highway 99 from Savannah to St. Marys to be known as the Coastal Georgia Greenway; and that such trail would lie wholly within the Gullah Geechee National Heritage Corridor and the entire Altamaha Scenic Byway, most of the Colonial Coast Birding Trail and most of Georgia Bike Route 95, and part of Georgia Bike Routes 10, 35, and 40.  The Coastal Georgia Greenway trail will also be a part of the proposed East Coast Greenway from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. “Completion of the Coastal Georgia Greenway will be good for all Georgians,” says Jo Claire Hickson.  “I am thankful that the Georgia Legislature recognizes that building the Coastal Georgia Greenway is a state priority!”  We couldn’t agree more and are thrilled to see this meaningful progress on a fantastic tourism, recreation, and transportation project on Georgia’s coast. We also thank 1000+ Georgians who turned out for the 10th anniversary Ride to the Capitol to show state lawmakers that projects like this are important to the citizens of the state!