It’s hard to get around Jackson Hole, for people and wildlife, no matter how you’re trying to get where you need to go. Our neighborhoods lack sidewalks. Our streets aren’t safe for our kids to ride bikes to school. Unless you’re going to and from Teton Village during the winter, the START bus just doesn’t work for most of us. There’s rarely another route we can take to get to our destination. These obstacles force many of us into our cars, resulting in ground transportation accounting for approximately 60% of our community’s climate change causing pollution.
On average, 500 animals are struck and killed by motorists every year on Teton County roads. The summer tourist season floods our roads with traffic. Because of this seasonal congestion, and because many mistakenly believe that wider roads will alleviate congestion (despite decades of data proving wider roads only encourage people to drive more and do not reduce congestion), proposals are in place to dramatically expand the highways that bisect our community, which would harm our community character and make it even harder to get around.
According to our Comprehensive Plan, our community has a vision that “residents and visitors will safely, efficiently, and economically move within our community and throughout the region using alternative transportation,” and that future transportation demand will be met through use of alternative transportation (not more asphalt and single-occupancy vehicles).
To get on the right path we’ll need an honest conservation about the long-term consequences of our transportation decisions based on facts and data. We’re working with partners to have these conversations and advocate for smart transportation planning.
Read our take on updating Integrated Transportation Plan (ITP) on our blog.