Jackson, WY – The Teton Village Association ISD and Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance invited twenty representatives from nine different agencies to a meeting on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, to develop a shared understanding regarding the problem of summer traffic congestion and to begin discussing opportunities for collaboratively addressing this problem.
Leaders from Grand Teton National Park, Teton County, Town of Jackson, WYDOT, Bridger Teton National Forest, START Bus, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, and Teton Village Association ISD discussed what summer traffic congestion looks like for their agency and how it impacts their organization and our community. Nearly a dozen interested citizens listened to the conversation that took place at the meeting at the START Bus facility in Karns Meadow.
Participants agreed that summer traffic congestion is a problem in Teton County, and many were concerned about traffic’s impact on our community’s quality of life, health and human safety, and wildlife and natural resources. But agencies also cited differing concerns, like how people are less likely to ride transit if it’s stuck in the same traffic congestion, and impacts such as visitor and resident’s frustration and inefficiencies for local business.
Attendees also shared smart ideas about conceptual opportunities and challenges to address summer traffic congestion collaboratively in the short and long-term, ranging from information sharing and increased partnerships to improvements in the valley-wide transit program during the summer to make transit faster and more convenient.
“This conversation doesn’t mean a lot unless it continues,” stated Craig Benjamin, Executive Director of the JH Conservation Alliance, inviting attendees to form a working group to analyze potential opportunities and challenges in more depth and report back to the larger group in 4-6 months.
Darren Brugman, START Bus Director, volunteered to lead a working group to continue exploring the opportunities and challenges in addressing summer traffic congestion in our community together. Several agencies represented on Tuesday have already identified a representative to participate in this working group.
Thanking participants for exploring valley-wide, collaborative solutions to summer traffic together, Melissa Turley, Director of TVA Improvement and Service District said, “We’re going to need all of our smart ideas and resources to collaboratively reduce traffic.”