Wyo22 pathway inches closer to Wilson while JH recognized as very bike-friendly Jackson Bicycle Buckrail - Jackson Hole, news
Bicyclists celebrate impressive national ranking and step toward the long-awaited Wilson Pathway. (START Bike)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Even as county commissioners made plans to inch along a pathway on Highway 22 there was additional reason to celebrate pedal power in Jackson Hole.

Big on bikes in JH

At a joint meeting Monday, Tim Young, executive director of Wyoming Pathways, passed along news that Jackson/Teton County ranked #6 in the latest listing of bicycle-friendly communities by People for Bikes. Young met with the project leader for PfB while attending the National Bike Summit in Washington DC last month.

“It’s pretty cool to see Jackson ranked so high, nationally,” Young admitted.

Jackson Hole received an overall Bicycle Network score of 67—good enough to beat out noteworthy bike-bonzo communities like Boulder and San Francisco. The metrics include a variety of factors including how easily cyclists can reach core services, work, or school. Jackson Hole posted the biggest scores in categories like off-street trail system (91) and ability to reach parks by bike (85).

Young said scores for Jackson could have been even higher had researchers been aware of missing data like transit (we received a 0 despite having a robust bus system) and other pathways that were likely overlooked or not yet counted.

Still, it’s encouraging news for a community that has been persistent about its commitment to providing means for alternative transportation and building a network of non-vehicle traffic pathways.

Jackson Hole/Teton County received high marks in a Bicycle Network ranking of US communities. (People for Bikes)

Commission kicks off design phase for Wilson path

After putting off talking about a pathway along Wyo22 between the 390 junction and the town of Wilson for months, county commissioners finally took a step forward by contracting with Jorgensen Associates to begin preliminary design work.

A pathway connecting Wilson to the existing network beginning at Teton Village Road has been budgeted for the last two years but the county has put it off. In fact, Young conjectures a pathway of some kind that would allow residents south of Highway 22 to walk or bike to Wilson has been conceptualized since the early 1990s.

“Please increase the pace,” Young asked commissioners at their regular meeting yesterday.

Part of the hold up has been a waiting game with WYDOT on the inevitable redo of Highway 22. Pathways director Brian Schilling said the latest he’s heard from the state highway department is they have budgeted that work to begin sometime around 2022-23.

At this point, WYDOT does not have plans to widen Wyo22 to four lanes west beyond the 390 junction, but an extensive redesign of that tricky intersection is certainly in the plans and elected officials were hesitant to pay for any pathway work that would have to be redone.

“As long as we get this process started I will leave here happy today,” Schilling said at the meeting.

Commissioner Paul Vogelheim agreed it was time to at least begin a field review and design phase. “We are not going to have all the answers but it is important to kick start this and get things moving,” he said, once assured that preliminary design work now could take place west of Green Lane to Fish Creek Bridge only.

Commissioners voted unanimously to award Jorgensen a contract for design services on the ‘Path 22 Wilson to Snake River Connector Project,’ excluding work east of Green Lane, and approved a contract for Conceptual Design Phase in an amount not?to?exceed $53,110.

Pathway for Wyo22 (Teton County)