Bollards dividing the driving and bike lanes on Snow King Avenue are set to be installed this week, according to a town press release.
It’s the second summer the flexible plastic delineators have aimed to provide improved safety for cyclists. Installation is expected to begin Tuesday.
This year, the Jackson Town Council has approved an expansion of the protected lanes by two blocks. The lanes will extend from Scott Lane to Cache Street, rather than ending at Millward Street as they did last summer. This new section will be used to “test out” slightly wider vehicle lanes.
“The Town of Jackson will study this new segment to evaluate if the slightly wider vehicle travel lane might improve future layouts,” the release said.
The two-block extension will allow bike lane users to ride all the way to Phil Baux Park and events like the Jackson Hole People’s Market or JacksonHoleLive. The bike lanes will displace 27 parking spaces.
“Snow King and the base of Snow King is a major destination,” said Brian Schilling, pathways coordinator.
When the bollards were introduced in June 2018, they were met with enthusiasm by cyclists who felt safer biking with kids, and with disdain from drivers who said the bike lanes didn’t leave enough room for large motor vehicles. But Schilling said the bike lane configuration achieved its primary goal: increasing the number of bike riders on Snow King.
Bike traffic on Snow King increased 18% last summer when the bollards were installed, according to the town.
Town staff continues to work with START, law enforcement, emergency personnel and other stakeholders to improve operations, such as removing sections of bollards or widening the road in sections to allow more room for larger vehicles.
Last year the town and Friends of Pathways split $20,000 in design costs for the revamped street. Schilling said installation of the bollards cost $26,926 for supplies and $3,510 for drilling, plus his time working on the project. The town paid the fixed costs of installation, and the town and county jointly employ Schilling. The pilot program is meant as an inexpensive, impermanent trial run that retrofits existing infrastructure rather than creating it from scratch.
The two-block extension will cost roughly $8,400. Reinstalling the bollards will cost about $2,500 for labor and painting stripes and intersections.