Project # 1: Savannah’s Historic District Navigational Guide for Scooter and Wheelchair Users…

 

Project Chairman: Dan Shehan

Committee Members: Richard Graham, Tom Newcomer, Sandra Bath, Sher Blackwelder,                                                                    

                                           Marty Foxx and Diane Davis.

Coastal Empire Polio Survivors Association published a Navigational Guide that maps out an

accessible path from Bull Street to parks and historic sites for wheelchairs and scooters. The map

was distributed to visitor centers, hotels, LIFE members, CEPSA members, and other special interest groups.

The polio survivors on this committee have personally made many trips through-out the Historic

District of Savannah by scooter and car to map out the accessible path. We will be meeting with city

officials to notify the city of the non-accessible areas, and any curb cuts that are in need of repair.

Dan Shehan was asked to serve on the disability council of Savannah and as disability awareness Chairman.

A letter has been mailed to restaurants in the Historic District along with a stamped, self addressed

response card to obtain accessible information from each restaurant. The letter clearly states that

only restaurants that are accessible to people with a disability, will be published on the map.  

 

                     First Edition - 2006             Front of map

                               

                                                   

                                                                          Back of map

                                                                    

 

                                        

                        

              

                Click on Link Below to Read Newspaper Article and View Larger Image of Map

                                                           (may take several minutes to download)

                                                   Where the sidewalks don't end | SavannahNow.com

 

                   Second Edition:  When Dan Shehan contacted the City Council they were so impressed

                           2007                 by the positive attention the map brought to the lack of accessibility in the

                                                     Historic District that they allocated over $200,000.00 to begin adding new  

                                                     curb cuts and needed repairs. That money allowed the city to add over 500

                                                     new curb cuts. As the first map’s popularity grew, more restaurants made

                                                     their establishments accessible and asked to be included on the next edition 

                                                     of the map. The committee up-dated the map with the new curb cuts and

                                                     redistributed the new version.                                                            

                                  

                                 

                 Third Edition:   The following year the city added at least 500 more curb cuts

                            2008              at an additional cost of over $200,000.00. The committee included

                                                  sponsors for the third edition of the map that completely paid the

                                                  expenses and cost of copies and even more restaurants asked

                                                  to be included on the map.

                                           

                                         

                                         A Positive Approach to a Negative Problem

                                      

                                              Coastal Empire Polio Survivors Association

                                           Savannah’s Historic District Navigational Guide for

                                                       Scooter and Wheelchair Users

                                     

                      It was the vision of our Accessibility Chairman, Dan Shehan, the committee,

                      and CEPSA not to come down on restaurants and the City of Savannah for

                      their lack of accessibility, but to have a positive uplifting approach by using

                      the map to encourage people to make their establishment accessible and to

                      recognize those that did; to point out to the City Council the location of needed

                      new curb cuts and sidewalk repairs, and at the same time, help disabled people

                      safely tour our beautiful Historic District. CEPSA’s map is an ongoing success!

                           
                            August 26, 2009
                            Mr. Bob Scanlon, Bureau Chief
                            City of Savannah Maintenance Facilities

                           Dear Mr. Scanlon,

                           Over the past several months I have encountered curbs that needed to be cut, and I would say

                           to myself  " I need to call Bob to put these on his list." But I would procrastinate and forget to call.  

                           Then a few weeks later while riding through town I would see the curbs cut or being cut. You must be

                           reading my mind! I noticed today that the curbs in front of the Savannah Theatre are being done.  Your  

                           department is really on the ball!  On behalf of the Coastal Empire Polio Survivors Association and the

                           Savannah-Chatham Council on Disability Issues many thanks to you and your department for your
                           continued commitment to removing these sidewalk barriers!


                           Sincerely,

                           Dan Shehan, vice-chairman
                           Savannah-Chatham Council on Disability Issues

 

Letter Received from the Marriott Riverfront Hotel, Savannah, GA

                          

January 4, 2010

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

As a professional concierge at the Marriott Riverfront Hotel, in the heart of Savannah,

Georgia’s historic district, I wish to express my  heartfelt thanks to the Coastal Empire

Polio Survivor’s Association for producing such a comprehensive map for use by visitors

who rely upon scooters and wheelchairs for transportation!

I frequently encounter guests who must rely upon scooters and/or wheelchairs as they

navigate the beautiful city of Savannah.  Because of its old, historic buildings, accessing

restaurants, antebellum mansions, shops, parks (squares), and museums can be

challenging, to say the least.

My guests are always grateful for the excellent map highlighting suggested accessible

locations and routes.  This enables them to follow along; avoid hitting “dead ends”; and

wasting precious time as they tour this lovely city.

Many of my associates, both here at the Marriott Riverfront Hotel, and in other city

locations, also rely upon this excellent map to provide optimum service to locals and

visitors in Savannah.  Hopefully, this map will continue to be made available for use in

the massive tourism industry in this historic city.

Sincerely  Yours,

Karen A. Jacobs

Concierge

Marriott Riverfront Hotel

Savannah, Georgia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

      
 

                         

 

Red Squares represent City parking garages.