Bollards increase safety
I would like to thank the town of Jackson and Friends of Pathways for the installation of bollards along Snow King Avenue. As a cyclist who rides Snow King regularly, I feel much safer. As a motorist, I appreciate the added reminder that I’m sharing the road with cyclists riding the pathway system. While the lanes are wide enough for big trucks, uncomfortable drivers can cross town on the highway and other streets. And just in case you haven’t heard, the barriers will be removed when the snow flies and then reinstalled again for the next biking season.
Two bicycling thoughts
First as a “mature” bicyclist who likes to ride our valley’s roads and pathways as much as possible during our short riding season, I was a bit surprised at some of the views expressed by residents in the June 13 article regarding traffic enforcement and bicyclists, “Cops: Goal is safety in ticketing bicyclists.”
As far as I can remember I was taught in my elementary school bicycle program that “stop signs” meant stop — not fly through an intersection and presume cars were going to give me the right of way. Bicycles are vehicles in Wyoming (and other states), and we need to abide by the traffic laws just as motor-vehicle operators do (I’m one of those, too).
Last summer a police officer thanked me for stopping at an intersection, which brought home the issue in my mind. I’ve personally been appalled by a minority of riders I’ve witnessed in Jackson demonstrating complete disregard for their safety and that of others — not just failures to stop at intersections but riding against traffic in the opposing lane, shooting across the roadway without signaling and failing to provide courtesy on the pathways. I’m truly amazed that there have not been more collisions.
Luckily these are the minority of bicyclists in the valley, and I believe our community should support law enforcement (Jackson Police Department, Teton County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol and National Park Service rangers) in their efforts to make our roads and pathways safer for all.
Second, as a driver sharing the roadway with bicyclists, I like the stanchions along Snow King Avenue. I have heard many times that narrowing traffic lanes, or the illusion of doing so using lane delineators, will slow vehicular traffic, and this seems to be the case on Snow King Avenue. Not only are bicyclists staying to the right, but vehicular speeds appear to be lower. My thanks to the town for giving this a try.
At the last Snow King stakeholder meeting we were asked to present final Snow King scenario ideas based on our experiences with the group and with the two community meetings. I presented a plan founded on two points: (1) The Snow King Resort Management Association be fully functional with a funding plan to support Snow King Mountain, the recreation benefit to the community, regardless of mountain ownership and (2) landing the gondola on public land — Phil Baux Park — would require fair-market purchase or equivalent land (KM 6) exchange or sale to make whole our town park.
As I made my presentation Snow King General Manager Ryan Stanley turned to me and called my ideas “pink unicorns.” He used this term multiple times and made me feel that my ideas were stupid, that I shouldn’t be there, that who and what I was representing were inconsequential. “Pink unicorns” made me feel the negatives of being feminine, of thinking outside of the box, of presenting different ideas. “Pink unicorns” are fantastical and nonexistent. I wish I had reacted strongly — stood up for myself and my ideas, but I didn’t. I was too stunned, too crushed, too hurt — I thought my ideas were exciting and useful and important for the people and views I was selected to represent, but I was wrong. They were dismissed as “pink unicorns.”
I applied to the stakeholder group to represent Snow King neighbors, recreationists, ski club parents and the greater Snow King ecosystem. I have planning and zoning experience and a deep commitment to our complete community. I am also a first-generation Asian-American woman related to Asa Webster, who fought in the American Revolution for our independence. But my ideas were “pink unicorns.” I didn’t react then, but I am now. I will not give up my seat on the bus because that is what is expected by those in power. I will speak out when I see injustice or unfairness. I believe it will be unjust and unfair if the town of Jackson surrenders our public lands to Snow King Mountain Resort expansion without a legally binding, rational business plan and transaction to fund recreation opportunities and build additional facilities for our community into the future.
Children are not coins in a negotiation. It makes me ashamed to be an American.
Respect the rules
What a wonderful get together at R Park for the summer solstice event ... almost perfect.
R Park is a no-dog park. Yes, a deal was struck with PAWS to allow dogs on the outer perimeter of the park on leash. Perhaps this needs to be rethought, as some dog owners don’t respect that boundary. It was disheartening to see at least 10 dogs in the park, most on leash, some swimming in the pond. R Park is a gift to the whole community. It needs to be respected, and the signs posted at all entrances mean no dogs beyond this point.
Yes, dog owners, this rule applies to everyone. It is unfortunate that there are still dog owners who think the rule does not apply to them … entitled comes to mind. It was also disappointing that the representatives of PAWS did not speak out to those who were not respecting this no-dog rule right in front of them, but instead told dog owners it was okay to take their dogs into the park on a leash.