This letter was addressed to Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon and the Jackson Town Council and Chairwoman Natalia Macker and the Teton County Commission, and was copied to the News&Guide. — Ed.
We are writing as a concerned group of citizens because we believe that we are falling short of meeting our collective transportation vision in Teton County. We ask you to immediately move toward these goals.
According to the Growth Management Program/Comprehensive Plan update, transportation and growing emissions are the most pressing issues we need to address as a community. We already exceeded the vehicle miles traveled target for 2035 in the Integrated Transportation Plan, and over 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions comes from the transportation sector. Most shocking to our group is that our community believes we are achieving our transportation goals, when we are in fact falling far short.
Each of us has advocated for more public education and involvement in transportation planning, yet our voices have not been heard. We respectfully call on you to act on our adopted community transportation goals and:
1) hire a transportation director in the next six months as a top priority,
2) redouble your efforts to implement the transit and active transportation elements of the Integrated Transportation Plan to meet our goals as stated in the Comprehensive Plan,
3) create and implement a community transportation demand management program,
4) provide initial leadership and establish a Regional Transportation Planning Organization,
5) develop a multimodal regional transportation improvement program, and
6) engage meaningfully with WYDOT in the planning, design, funding and construction of Highway 22 and Highway 390 corridors, with an emphasis on transit improvements as called for in the Integrated Transportation Plan.
Now, more than ever, we need to work together to meet our ambitious community vision for transportation as stated in the 2012 Comprehensive Plan. We have thus far failed to hire a transportation director and to implement and fund the transit, walk, bike elements in the Integrated Transportation Plan. We haven’t even begun planning for the community-wide Transportation Demand Management and Regional Transportation Planning Organization called for in the plan. In his Nov. 4 presentation to your boards, Jim Charlier advised not to expect to ever decrease traffic and congestion in the long run.
Instead, he recommended creating ways for community members to get around the valley even during congested times — with investments that shorten transit travel time like HOV lanes and transit priority, as well as safe walking and biking opportunities.