Council reapproves parklets, flex space, short-term parking for summer ’21

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Town Council discussed public-right-of-way items that were implemented last summer in the downtown area of Jackson in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council moved two items, unanimously approving the flex spaces, parklets, signage and messaging, and cleaning and sanitation stations that were implemented last summer. The council also approved short-term parking items that were implemented or partially implemented last summer.

Flex spaces were created on the northwest and northeast corners of the Town Square, where additional seating was provided near areas of bike parking. Additional seating was also provided on the east side of Town Square within the parallel parking area on Center Street. A total of thirteen tables were provided at these locations to support outside seating for general use by the public.

Parklets were created at 15 businesses utilizing both public and private land for additional outdoor seating for restaurants. Public Works suggested waving the capacity fees another year, which was approved by the council.

Capacity fees are based on seating, but in theory, restaurants lost seating inside due to indoor capacity limits due to COVID-19. The staff suggested that capacity didn’t really increase for these businesses, even with square footage increases with the implementation of Parklets.

Orsetto parklet, an example of a parklet on private property. Photo: Town of Jackson

Short-term parking items that were approved include, converting taxi to fly spaces in the parking garage to regular parking spaces, add ADA accessible parking downtown, add additional bike parking, and add 15-minute parking near high turnover businesses. The council also approved developing employee parking maps and communication programs. 

Long-term parking and paid parking were briefly discussed but Mayor Morton Levinson suggested long-term parking be discussed at a later time.

Councilmember Jessica Sell Chambers brought up a discussion from last summer— food trucks, calling it an “equity issue.” Chambers asked for another motion to be moved to consider food trucks but found no support on the council during the meeting.

Vice Mayor Arne Jorgensen said, “Im not prepared to make a motion at this time. This is a bigger lift. I am concerned about where we are with heading into the budget review and the capacity of the town to do this, at least in the short term. I am more than happy to have a discussion once that clears up, once we have a chance to look at work plans and things going forward.”

During the same meeting, the council approved the conceptual design plan for the downtown improvement plan. The plan will extend the boardwalk on the east side of the Town Square to create a permanent flex space.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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