Feedback due Friday on Forsyth Park Master Plan; Aldermen wrap up public meetings

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The future of Forsyth Park is now in the hands of the community after five of Savannah’s aldermen and women wrapped up virtual public meetings.

The aldermen hosted meetings to gather feedback from constiutents on two proposed redesigns of Savannah’s iconic Forsyth Park.

Friends of Forsyth created the designs in Phase 1 of its master plan. The designs are based on previous feedback from people who asked designers to preserve the historical integrity of the property, while also adding bike lanes, public art and more public restrooms.

Feedback from the most recent set of public meetings and comments on social media will drive what comes next.

“They’re going to have to develop what they call the 50% plan, which is a halfway point in the design process where they show the results so far and then they send it out for more feedback again,” explained Savannah District 4 Alderman Nick Palumbo.

Palumbo was the first city leader in April to host a public meeting. He wants a plan to preserve and replant aging oak trees.

The most popular suggestion from his constituents involved the construction of more public restrooms.

“We hear everybody loud and clear, we need to address that in the park to find a place…where people can use the restroom as visitors come in and enjoy it,” said the alderman.

On Savannah’s southside, District 6 Alderman Kurtis Purtee says residents are worried about public and pedestrian safety.

He suggests installing speed tables or raising crosswalks to encourage drivers to slow down in the area of the park.

District 6 residents also raised concerns about wheelchair accessibility and the availability of parking options.

Overall, Purtee says most would rather keep the features that make the park unique. He says there is a way to make updates, while also making sure Forsyth Park keeps its iconic southern charm.

“I think one of the biggest things that I’m hearing is that people don’t want to see a huge change to this historic landmark of Savannah,” said Purtee.

Anyone with more feedback is encouraged to complete an online survey about the redesign. The online survey is open until Friday.

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