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Renderings: Savannah examines revamped, safer streets in historic district

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Two possible schemes would bring improved safety while highlighting unique features of Georgia city

One “coastal” option.
Images courtesy of EDSA

As Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah is known for its historic charm, with relatively ancient homes and beautiful public squares making for an immensely walkable core.

But beneath the Spanish moss-draped oaks, the streets once designed to handle pedestrian and horse traffic have been given over to cars—often without regard for the pedestrian experience.

Now, an initiative is afoot that would begin to reclaim some of the city’s most storied streets for people, making them more pleasant places to walk around and enjoy The Hostess City of the South.

Planning firm EDSA has created two different schemes to help guide the transformation of Bay, River, and Broughton streets in the historic core of the city, drawing inspiration from the coastal setting and historic charm.

While the “coastal” proposals add palm trees, lush plantings, and bike lanes, the “historic” options (rather ironically) create more space for cars and afford street-front cafes more outdoor dinning space, buffered by trees.

Both designs increase planting space, improve lighting, and incorporate traffic-calming measures to make the streets safer.

According to a press release by the firm, the design team is looking for public input ahead of a city board meeting later in March, where they plan to present the winning idea to the city for adoption.

Savannah lovers of Atlanta, which would you prefer: a more “costal” or “historic” city?