I ran 5.35 miles tonight between the rails to trails and Wilmington island. Yesterday, I ran 9.15 miles in the Whitemarsh/Wilmington Island area. During this evening’s muggy run I came across another dead turtle on McQueen’s Island. It was quite disheartening. I like turtles. What can I say? Seeing them smashed up along highway 80 bothers me greatly. People drive way too damned fast on that mostly two lane highway between the Bull River and Tybee Island. I believe the police should crack down more on the speeding and littering on highway 80. I am so bothered by the number of dead critters I see on this strip of highway on McQueen’s Island. My gosh, not only are there numerous dead turtles on this strip of highway 80 but dead raccoons, red tail hawks, great egrets, great blue herons, minks, snakes and possoms.
I have come to see the turtle crossing signs on highway 80 as a bad joke. People tell me that they love those “turtle crossing” signs (and, I admit, they are cool) but no one seems to pay attention to the purpose of those signs! Those signs are there for people to be cautious when driving on highway 80 to and from Tybee Island. By standing on the parking area of the rails to trails just east of the Bull River bridge you see what I mean, – no one pays attention to those turtle crossing signs. How can they? The drivers are driving too fast to notice the signs! And, then there’s all kinds of garbage littering highway 80! The last few years I’ve made it a joke on my blog as to the odd pieces of garbage I come across on the roads of Savannah but it really isn’t a joking matter.
This is our town! These are our streets! Savannah and the Low Country are hot tourist destinations. Is this what we want visitors to see…all kinds of dead animals littering the sides of the road along with garbage? Really, is this how we want to live? I know that as long as there are roads there are going to be collisions between cars and animals but we, being humans, have the unique ability to reduce the quantity of such collisions.
I don’t know if the answer is having more police surveillance of the area, solar-powered digital speed signs to make people aware of how fast they are driving, more caution signs to make us aware of slowing down and giving the critters a chance to make it across the street. I think it’s worth taking a look at this wildlife tunnel crossing idea Florida implemented in the everglades to help animals cross Alligator Alley safely (under the highway). I do not have the answer but I want to explore the options and try and find an amicable, cost-efficient solution to these problems.
The garbage problem is very easy to solve. People need to keep their garbage in their cars and not on our streets. How do we convince them to do that?
Another thing that has bothered me a bit as of late is the deterioration of the rails to trails. Back in 2009, the trail had a complete make-over that left it looking amazing. Living on the coast erosion is something we are always going to have to battle. And, with the rtt so close to the mouth of the Savannah river the erosion is going to be intense. So, since the last restoration of the rails to trails just three years ago we find the rtt disheveled badly.
The rtt has deteriorated greatly on the western section as you near the end of the trail. There are also deep ruts and lots and lots of knuckle-sized loose rocks along much of the trail that is making it very difficult to not only run on but to bike on. At the very end of the rtt where the shrine and prayer flags are at there are overflowing trashcans. I’m really not sure if anyone from the county ever goes to the end of the trail to empty out the trashcans. Anyway, at this time you can only reach the end of the trail by foot because the trail is so severely eroded the last couple of hundred yards. So, I cannot really blame the county for not sending anyone to empty out the trashcans back there.
I am going to start talking to people and organizations about these concerns of mine regarding the large number road kill, trashed up highway on McQueen’s Island and the deteriorating rails to trails. Maybe, by opening up a conversation about these topics we could begin to find solutions that are easy to implement and cost-efficient. One of the things that I will personally start doing is carrying a trash bag once a week during my training runs at the rtt and gathering some of the trash and carrying it out. It’ll be a slight inconvenience but I run at the rails to trails about 3 to 4 times a week. Doing one run that’s focused more on trash pick up isn’t asking much of me. So, if you see some crazy guy running with a trash bag full of garbage at the rails don’t mistake me for Santa Clause even, though, my belly might make you think twice that I must be Santa…or, possibly bigfoot. No, it’s just me, common citizen Dan, trying to do his part to return the rails to trails to the former beauty and gem that it was once.
As for restoring the rtt from all of the erosion now that’s going to be a tough one (as if saving the turtles isn’t going to be tough). A friend of mine talked to someone from Chatham county about restoring the rtt and that person told my friend that the county simply doesn’t have the money to restore the trail. The man went on to say that it would cost a few hundred thousand dollars to restore the rtt. That’s a lot of money! And, we all know that times are tough. The county does have other priorities. The rails to trails is obviously not one of those priorities. So, what can I and you and you, and you do to help restore the rtt? I’m one that does not believe that government should be the answer to all of our problems. I believe that we, the common citizens, can make things happen and we should band together to make things happen.
So, what can I and we do to get the ball rolling in helping save some turtles, clean up highway 80 on McQueen’s Island and restore the rtt? That’s a lot of stuff to address at once but we can handle it. We are the Awesome Americans, right? There’s not much we cannot accomplish when we put our heads together, roll up our sleeves and apply a little elbow grease to problems…that’s how we kicked the bad guy’s asses during world war 2 and put a man on the moon and other stuff. So, accomplishing these tasks of saving turtles, cleaning up our streets and restoring the rtt should be a walk in the park, right?
Okay, I’ll stop the lame inspiration speeches.
I’ll just say, let’s get some crap fixed around here! Are you with me? Please?
- 1 dead marsh turtle
- 8 great egrets
- 4 snowy egrets
- 1 grackle
- 6 doves
- 3 dogs
- 1 black headed seagull
- 1 red winged black bird
- countless fiddler crabs
- 2 dead raccoons
- run log
- mapped run
- total miles on New Balance MT10′s: 47.61
- total real miles for 2012: 492.22
- total treadmill miles for 2012: 47.49
Thanks for stopping by. And, thanks for allowing me to vent. Please tell me what you think I could do to address some of the things I brought up in this blog entry. Thank you.
All the very best to you and yours.
Take care and God bless.