Summer traffic

The Wyoming Department of Transportation finished reconfiguring the “Y” intersection this past winter in an attempt to help alleviate traffic at the busy junction.

The plan that envisions the future of transportation in Teton County is due for a fine-tuning.

Town and county officials on Monday agreed to commit $100,000 to hiring consultants to update the Integrated Transportation Plan, originally adopted in 2015.

“This update will offer an opportunity for the Board of County Commissioners and Town Council to review and refine the underlying policies, objectives and strategic direction set forth in the ITP,” the scope of work for consultants says.

The 2015 plan lays out a 20-year vision promoting multimodal transportation infrastructure like buses and pathways and coordinated land use and transportation planning.

It sets goals to increase START bus service, expand the employer transit pass program, and initiate a summer pilot route to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Airport. It also pushes for improving the “walkability” of town and neighborhoods and connectivity in the bicycling network.

Major capital projects are also addressed in the plan, setting traffic thresholds that are meant to trigger projects like the Tribal Trail Connector between South Park Loop and Highway 22, bus rapid transit lanes, or a North Bridge connecting Teton Village and the airport.

Consultants at Charlier Associates will interview stakeholders, update a list of action items, recalibrate traffic level benchmarks and generally update transportation data from the past five years.

For example, a report last spring showed that Teton County traffic has surpassed the Integrated Transportation Plan’s goal for 2035. Vehicles traveled more than 592 million miles in Teton County in 2017, compared with the goal for 2035 to keep traffic levels below 560 million annual vehicle miles traveled.

Consultants will also incorporate into the ITP new ongoing projects such as the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s reconfiguration of the intersection of Highways 22 and 390, and START’s route analysis.

The process won’t include a public engagement effort outside of comments accepted at public meetings before the town and county.

The hiring of consultants to perform the work follows an unsuccessful effort to hire a full-time transportation planner. Elected officials agreed in August 2017 to hire a staffer to implement the Integrated Transportation Plan. In March 2018, the staffer quit after three months. In June, officials abandoned the pursuit of a candidate to fill the position in favor of allocating those funds toward hiring consulting teams.

The completed transportation update is expected to be delivered for adoption by January.

Simultaneously, the town and county are working to update the 2012 Jackson/Teton County Comprehensive Plan, which set a broader vision for the community focused on priorities of quality of life, ecosystem stewardship and growth management. A public survey about that plan’s progress is available at Menti.com with the code 34 28 39.

Contact Allie Gross at 732-7063 or county@jhnewsandguide.com.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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(1) comment

Judd Grossman

It doesn't sound like the ITP is very realistic if it is aiming to reduce traffic below 2017 levels while we are allowing a doubling of population at build out.


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