Friends of Pathways outreach programs focus on respectful and responsible use of our incredible pathways, streets, and trails. We reach youth through our integrated cycling education programs, iWalk, iBike, iBus to School Days, and by partnering with local community events. Our Adult Outreach programs encourage increased use of alternative transportation and respectful, responsible actions while on pathways, streets and trails.

Commuter Choice Challenge Awards Winners!

On Friday, September 27, Friends of Pathways concluded another record breaking year for the Commuter Choice Challenge. This past Monday, we met with many of the winning teams and individuals at Pica’s to award prizes and share commuting stories. Many reflected on the beautiful morning rides into work, the excitement over the pathway bridge, and how we’re going to miss the summer.

Top Teams
Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce

Most Miles and Most Bus Miles

Teton Science School
Most Active Miles Large Team

Teton Village Sports
Most Active Miles Medium Team

Team JH
Most Active Miles Small Team

Terri Romanowski
Top Female

Greg Meisner
Top Male

566 participants and 80 teams biked, walked, and bussed 92,889 miles, saved $17,395, and diverted 85,240 lbs of CO2 from the atmosphere.Congratulations to everyone who participated! And, thank you for making Jackson Hole a more vibrant, active, and sustainable community. Special Thanks to Our Sponsors: Pica’sPizzeria CalderaPearl Street BagelsRevolution Indoor CyclingTeton Village SportsFits SocksProBarEddie BauerIgloo, and Vapur.

Developing and building bike infrastructure has been a goal of Friends of Pathways and recently new infrastructure has been installed across town! However, bike infrastructure is only effective if motorists and cyclists understand the purpose and how to use each element. Last week, we touched briefly on the newly painted sharrows or SLMs (shared lane markings), and this week’s FOP edition is expanding beyond!

Friends of Pathways has been receiving questions about everything from “sharrows” to what really are the acceptable bike signals? In an effort to bring attention some of your questions we’ve compiled some information via the National Association of Transportation OfficialsLeague of American Bicyclists, and other advocacy organizations around the country. So whether you’re an avid commuter racking upCommuter Choice Challenge miles or a motorist concerned about the best way to share the road, the following information should have a little bit of something for you!

Biking at night in Jackson is incredible; the streets are peaceful, the stars are out, and the air is crisp.  Using lights is not only the law, it’s essential for your safety and the safety of others out on the road. In the state of Wyoming, a white light and rear red reflector are required.  But, we recommend also using a red blinking light in the back to remain visible.

Recently, Friends of Pathways was contacted by the Jackson Hole Police Department.  They related that they have heard many scary stories from residents who have had close encounters with cyclists riding without lights at night.  We partner with Planet Bike,Jackson Hole Community PathwaysJackson Hole Police Department, and Teton County Sheriffto provide free lights to people who are stopped at night.  This encouragement program has been running for many years and the law enforcement officers have been great partners in sharing lights with users around town.  But, the number of cyclists on the roads at night far exceed the number of lights we are able to give out.

We at FOP strongly encourage you to purchase lights if you are riding at night!

We’ve talked to the owners of all the bike stores in town and found that at  Hoback SportsFitzgeralds,Hoff’s Bikesmith, and the Hub you can purchase a front light that sell for less than $20 and a set of lights that sell for less that $40.  Stop in to any of the bike shops in town to pick up a light of your choice.

Respect & Responsibility – Safety at Intersections
Judging by the number of sources we found while writing this article, cyclist’s behavior at intersections is a pertinent topic of conversation around the world. We’ve linked to a number short articles that are way more interesting than you might initially guess and have important and enjoyable information.

Weekly, we receive comments from community members sharing frustrating and dangerous stories about cyclists who don’t stop.  Just this week, a cyclist wrote:

I saw someone almost get hit two days ago while they were blowing quickly through a line-up of cars at a 4-way stop.  A car was turning and almost hit the biker, so they honked.  The biker simply flipped off the car and kept going.  It’s disconcerting and these dangerous situations seem to be occurring with more frequency.

Is there a way to better educate folks before we have another tragedy?

While cycling, most folks loathe coming to a complete stop. It takes a great deal of energy and can add minutes to your trip.Stopping at stop signs is the law, makes cycling safer, and it’s the respectful and responsible thing to do.

In the state of Wyoming, bicycles are vehicles. Neglecting to stop can result in a traffic violation, costing over $100, with each additional violation increasing in cost. Some states, including Idaho, have laws that permit cyclists to yield at stop signs when the situation is appropriate. Until Wyoming adopts similar legislation, cyclists will be treated as motor vehicles at all intersections.

The most frequent type of intersection collisions between a cyclist and a car in the US occur at intersections where the cyclist has a stop sign and a driver does not.  These easily avoidable accidents account for 9.7% of intersection accidents.  In most of these cases, the cyclist is a fault, rolling right in front of the vehicles, when he should have stopped.

Further, running stop signs creates community opposition to cyclists.  Tom Stafford, in BBC article titled “The psychology of why cyclists enrage car drivers,” theorizes that “motorists hate cyclist because they think they offend the moral order.” Driving is a moral activity with formal and informal rules of the road. When cyclists don’t follow the rules of the road, drivers perceive cyclists as breaking the moral code and over time become more and more angry. Stopping completely demonstrates to drivers that cyclists care about the rules and are willing to follow them.

Be Today’s Solution: STOP completely. Please use Respect & Responsibility.

Help keep the trails riding well for you and others by not riding through mud or muddy spots.

Riding on mud wrecks the tread on the trail by leaving ruts that dry into hard bumps.  This in turn, contributes to erosion and creates unridable, hard to fix trail surfaces.  If you are leaving a visible rut, the trail is too muddy to ride!

Warm weather during spring and fall is especially critical for trails.  You can still get out and ride and walk the trails, but be aware of very muddy spots.  If you see that they are too wet, dismount your bike, push your bike through the mud spot, and walk on the edge of the trail.

Please don’t ride around the mud spots either, this creates an unsustainably wide trail or sometimes even creates two trails in one spot.

Thanks for Riding Dirt, Not Mud.