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Savannah mayor launches initiative aiming to address accessibility issues
New ‘Savannability’ task force aims to make city more inclusive for everyone
Members of the newly launched Savannability Task Force on Feb. 3 at Savannah City Hall. - photo by Brandy Simpkins
As Savannah leaders strive to make the city more inclusive and accessible for everyone, Mayor Van Johnson announced the formation of the “Savannability Task Force” during a Feb. 3 press conference.

The Savannability Task Force was introduced at City Hall on Wednesday morning by the mayor while accompanied by its members, including task force Chair Patti Lyons, who also serves as the president of Senior Citizens, Inc. The task force will examine accessibility issues faced by differently abled people and offer suggestions to improve infrastructure that would erase barriers.

“We want Savannah to be welcoming, navigable, and inclusive for everyone who lives in or visits our city, so our community can benefit from their unique abilities whether they are visually, audibly, physically, or developmentally challenged, or if they are simply aging,” Johnson stated.

The task force is composed of people living with accessibility issues, as well as city and county partners, including members of Chatham Area Transit, the Metropolitan Planning Commission, and Step Up Savannah.

“I know I speak for this entire group when I say what an honor it is to be asked to give our thoughts on how we can make our beautiful city more accessible to everyone, whether they are a citizen, whether they come here to work, or whether they’re coming here to visit and see why we all live here,” said Lyons.

Lyons added that the task force has been in the organizing stage up to this point, and to make their efforts faster and more efficient, they have broken up into subcommittees including education, transportation, and employment committees.

The committees will begin their work by looking at efforts already in place, including individuals creating maps for wheelchair-accessible travel, and disseminating information about hotels and historic house museums that are accessible, according to Lyons.

“This additional seat at Savannah’s table moves us closer to being the Beloved Community,” said Johnson.