The Town of Jackson will be re-installing the protected bicycle lanes on Snow King Avenue during the week of April 20th. Increased bicycle and pedestrian counts on Snow King Ave. and pathways have prompted Pathways officials to roll out the protected bike lanes as early as possible this year. The number of pedestrians and cyclists using the community’s pathway system is up dramatically from this time last year and in some areas is at an all-time high, likely due to the effects of COVID-19 impacts on the community. User counts on Snow King over the last month are up more than 166% from 2019 levels and many pathways have seen more than triple the regular usage for this time of year. The increased usage correlates with the implementation of COVID-related closures of schools and businesses.
Pathways officials note that, with schools closed, after-school activities suspended, and many of the usual foul-weather options such as going to the gym on hold for the time being, not to mention the added stress of having to deal with the COVID-19 restrictions, it’s more important than ever that people of all ages and physical abilities have safe, convenient ways to get out of the house for some exercise and fresh air. The pathway system has provided a valuable option to the entire Jackson Hole community for safe, close-to-home recreation and transportation options like commuting to work or going to the grocery store, all while incorporating healthy activity in their daily routine and allowing people to maintain recommended social distancing.
Snow King Avenue serves as the primary east-west bicycle route through the town of Jackson, connecting the downtown and neighborhoods in East Jackson to destinations such as the Teton County Library, the Jackson/Teton County pathway system, the public school campuses, and commercial areas and neighborhoods in West Jackson. The protected bike lanes feature paint markings and flexible plastic delineators to offset the bike lane from motor vehicle traffic, which provides improved safety and comfortable riding conditions for people of all ages and abilities. The protected bike lanes run from Cache St. to Scott Lane and continue on Scott Lane and Maple Way to the start of the Garaman Pathway along Flat Creek. The layout of the protected bike lanes will be the same as last year.
Town staff remind the community that COVID-related physical distancing recommendations apply even while walking on sidewalks or cycling in bike lanes or on pathways, and to please maintain at least six feet separation from other cyclists and pedestrians. The Town of Jackson is strongly committed to providing safe mobility options for residents and visitors during COVID-19, and the Town recognizes that a functional, equitable transportation system that meets the needs of all users must be comprised of safe facilities that enable people of all ages and abilities to walk, bike, ride transit, or drive safely and comfortably through their community.