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Progress with the Idaho Dept of Transportation

We recently recieved this letter from Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance.   It contains great news about funding for the Transportation Alternatives.  Read it here:

Dear Members, Supporters and Friends,

We attended the Idaho Transportation Board's meeting on Wednesday, and finally, after many months of hard work from all of you around Idaho, we are very close to a winning solution!
The Idaho Transportation Board voted and passed a resolution to support and authorize funding for the Transportation Alternatives program as established through Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Within the resolution, Idaho Transportation Board stated that the Transportation Alternatives program supports a variety of local transportation projects by repacking elements of the Safe Routes to School program, Transportation Enhancements program, Scenic Byways program, and the Recreational Trails program. They have created the Community Choices for Idaho management tool to assist local communities in applying for funds and to competitively select projects that will be submitted to the board for approval.
The Idaho Transportation Board authorizes funding and obligation authority for the Transportation Alternatives program that complies with MAP-21 and uses the Community Choices for Idaho management tool.
THANK YOU to every one of you who wrote a letter, submitted a project, made a phone call, and attended a meeting. It worked!!! Transportation Alternative dollars will NOT be transferred to road projects, but rather they will stay where the Federal government intended for them to remain - local biking/walking projects around the state.
Our work is not done, but for now we can congratulate ourselves on what we have accomplished, because it is a lot. Roughly $3M will be available through competitive grants in Idaho for these projects.
We will CELEBRATE!!!!  We hope you will join us on Monday, April 15th, at Bardenay in Boise for our Charity Nights. Please come down with friends and family between 5pm and 9pm, and say hello! A portion of all dollars spent will go to IPBA.
Thank you for your continued support!
-- Cynthia Gibson
Executive Director
Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance
P.O. Box 1594  Boise, Idaho  83701
"The Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance promotes walking, bicycling and other forms of human-powered transportation as healthy, sustainable, reliable and viable options for all Idahoans."

Contact the Idaho Department of Transportation

Idahoans for Bike and Pedestrian Funding

Under the New National Transportation Bill

 Under the new national transportation bill, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has the ability to eliminate the popular and successful Safe Routes to School program and shift away over half of the money in the Transportation Alternatives fund. Our concern is that Transportation Alternatives and Safe Routes to School funds that support sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes and biking and walking education in Idaho Communities will be cut in order to fund only motorized transport. We understand that ITD plans to do just that! Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance and its partners support a balanced approach to transportation funding – vehicles, transit, walking and bicycling - in order to better serve all Idahoans.

 Partners throughout Idaho are urging the Idaho Transportation Board to:

 1.  Fully fund Transportation Alternatives programs to improve your community’s

safety, mobility and economics, and

2.  Retain the Safe Routes to School program at or above its current $1M/year level.


How? We need to obtain a majority of favorable votes on the Idaho Transportation Board. This seven member Board will meet February, March & April. We believe the vote will almost surely occur in April. The board is appointed by the Governor, and includes one person from each of the six ITD districts statewide plus a chair. We need stakeholders statewide to ask their board member, and the whole Idaho Transportation Board to vote to keep the programs we care about.

How can you help? Contact your Idaho Transportation Board member by email, letter or phone and ask for the three items listed above. Also helpful: let your legislators and the governor know you care about these programs. Speak up and ask others to do the same so bicycling and walking stay in Idaho's transportation mix.

Things are moving quickly, so please act now! With your help we will make Idaho a state of safe and attractive communities where everyone safely bikes and walks.

Who is your Idaho Transportation Board member? Check here for the name and contact information.

Does your organization want to be part of this coalition? Contact Cynthia (see the back again) and work with us!

What's Up with Fat Bikes

Check out this video about fat bike riding in Teton Valley and the surrounding areas.

  • Learn the basics of Fat Bike Etiquette
  • Help Improve Trail Access for Fat Biking

Save the Pinnacles Trail

The Shoshone National Forest is reviewing their forest plan, and one of the options moving forward includes barring mountain bike use on the Pinnacles Trail.  Your input is needed to help save access to this classic mountain bike trail.   
How to get involved:
  1. Read the proposed forest plans.  You can download the forest plan and all the options here.
  2. Let your voice be heard.  Public Comments are due November 1st.  Send comments to or to  
Shoshone National Forest 
Forest Plan Comments
808 Meadow Lane Avenue
Cody, WY 82414
New Information for Retired Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson:


Letter from Sara Domek, the Shoshone Wild Lands Director of the Wyoming Wilderness Association.

Guest Shot by Howie Wolke

Letter to the editor of Jackson Hole News and Guide from John Gallager of the Park County Pedalers: 
In response to Sara Domek’s letter “Not allowed” I have to correct her reckless error in characterizing mountain biking in the Dunoir special management unit as “illegal”. She is entitled to her own opinions, but not her own facts. If she had checked with the Forest Service, as I did, she would have been told mountain biking is an acceptable form of recreation in the Dunoir. I know Sara and the Wyoming Wilderness Association have their own interpretation of the law, but it is there interpretation only and it does not line up with the current Forest Service interpretation.
The 1972 Dunoir enabling legislation clearly provides for a level of protection different than that of Wilderness. The 1984 Wyoming Wilderness Act also passed on making the Dunoir a Wilderness area. Having spoken directly with the co-sponsor of the Wyoming Wilderness Act, Senator Alan Simpson, he is very clear that the intent was to preserve wilderness characteristics, meaning no logging, drilling, mining or use of motor vehicles except for administrative purposes. The legislators that created this law never intended to stop bicycle riding.
Sara’s job is to get the Dunoir formally designated as Wilderness. That is what she is paid to do. What I don’t understand is why she and the Wyoming Wilderness Association feel the need to drive a wedge between themselves and mountain bikers, who also want to see this area preserved while still being able to ride there. Other Wilderness proponents recognize the problem with this rift and have embraced alternative protection designations that are equally as strong. Why doesn’t the Wyoming Wilderness Association do the same?
The Dunoir is a special place that already has special protection. The next Shoshone Forest plan, currently in its public comment phase, may recommend banning mountain biking in the Dunoir. If you want to preserve your and future generation’s option to someday ride a bike on the trails in the Dunoir, then take this opportunity to let the Forest Service know that you understand that mountain biking in the Dunoir has a long tradition that should be continued. You can send comments You can download all the plan documents at
John Gallagher
Park County Pedalers
Cody, WY
Teton County, WY: Vote Yes on 2 - Connect the Community!
Hwy 22 / West Broadway pathway project
The project scope has expanded since the original vision of the project was considered and the amount of funding the Town/County envisioned was inadequate. The 2008 SPET project ballot provided $800,000 for the bridge, but the total cost for the bridge is $3 million. The 2008 SPET also provided $1 million for West Broadway enhancements, but the West Broadway enhancement project’s true cost is $3 - $4 million. There were also some cost increases to consider since the project was considered. Together that accounts for most of the $4.35 million the Town/County is seeking in the 2012 SPET ballot.

Why should we support this project?

Hwy 22 and W. Broadway are two of the busiest roads in Teton County. They are also two of the most dangerous for biking and walking as they lack sidewalks and pathways. Currently, I won't walk or bike on those roads, nor will I allow my kids to. Having our main roads in Teton County also be the least safe for non-motorized transportation seems counter-intuitive; they should be more safe. That's why I'm voting for Proposition 2 and hope you do as well...
Community character
In Teton County, we shouldn't feel like we have to drive everywhere. Our community should be designed to encourage us to be outside with our friends and neighbors. We're doing a great job fixing many of our roads so that they can accomodate more than just cars, and Hwy 22 and W. Broadway are next on the list. Now is the time to build the Highway 22 pathway. Vote Yes on Proposition 2. 
As a Wilson/Town resident, I end up driving frequently. It will be great to have a safe option to ride my bike occasionally to cut down on the car trips I make.   If we want to continue our progress in bike and walking friendliness, then we need to improve the county's most traveled routes. Highway 22 and W. Broadway need improvements.  Vote Yes on Proposition 2. 
For Jackson Hole to be considered one of the top mountain destinations in the country, we need a truly bike-friendly pathway system so visitors can get around Town without relying on their car...  Visitors help pay the tax.  Vote Yes on Proposition 2. 
Low impact businesses looking to move or expand are keen on non-motorized facilities to support the kind of community they want to build their business in.  Pathways and sidewalks increase access to local businesses, and benefit the economy.  
Vote Yes on Proposition 2. 

GTNP wants to limit traffic on Moose-Wilson Road

Grand Teton National Park is considering making the Moose Wilson Road one-way,  which would not only create more traffic, but would be incredibly unsafe for cyclists.  Friends Of Pathways is encouraging folks to write letters to the editor:  here are their talking points and information on how to write to the newspapers.


a. Jackson Hole News & Guide

      • Deadline: 5 p.m. Monday
    • E-mail:
    • Letters to the editor should be limited to 400 words, be signed and include a telephone number and town of residence for verification.

b. JH Weekly

    • Email:
    • Letters to the editor are limited to 300 words, need to be signed and include your town of residence.

c. Casper Star Tribune

    • Email: Kerry.Drake@Trib.Com
    • *Stay within the 300-400 word limit and include your name, telephone number and town of residence.


a. Cutting Access to a National Park: Flies in the face of the stated
mission of the NPS to preserve our "natural and cultural resources
and values ... For the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and
future generations."

MISSION OF NPS: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the
natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for
the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.
The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural
and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this
country and the world. To achieve this mission, the National Park Service
adheres to the following guiding principles:

Excellent Service: Providing the best possible service to park visitors and

Productive Partnerships: Collaborating with federal, state, tribal, and
local governments, private organizations, and businesses to work toward
common goals. (among other principles, but these are the first two listed

b. Huge Safety Issue: A one-way Moose Wilson road is a huge safety
risk for motorists, recreationalists and animals.

i. Force bicyclists and other recreationalists to face head
oncoming traffic

ii.Will send additional cars onto an already busy Highway 89 and
Spring Gulch Road

iii.  Some studies suggest one-way roads cause people to
drive faster

c. Bad for the Environment: Closing the Moose Wilson road to
southbound traffic will cause people to have to drive an extra 30 miles
to get back to Teton Village.

i.Huge waste of gas

ii.Hurts Teton County's carbon footprint when we are working
on being energy efficient

d. Counter to Community's Vision for a Complete Pathway system:
County and Town officials, as well as local partners such as Friends of
Pathways, have worked with the community for years with the shared
goal of creating a complete pathway system that can take people from
Town, into the park, Teton Village and back into town. GTNP decision
totally goes against this.

e. Hurts Tourism / Bike Tourism: GTNP/Teton County received a
prestigious designation from the Secretary of the Interior last year
(America' Great Outdoors initiative recognition) in recognition of the
area's pathways. Teton County and the surrounding area is earning a
reputation as a premier biking destination – and making the Moose
Wilson road will serve as a disincentive for bikers to come to Jackson.

f. Hurts Teton Village: A one-way Moose-Wilson road will have a
negative impact on the visitor experience to Teton Village (forcing
them to drive an extra 30 miles to get back to their hotels) and could
ultimately lead to a decline in visitors, and the tax revenue they bring,
particularly during the summer months.

i. Teton Village is a premier destination both in Teton County
and the state

Snow Biking in Yellowstone's Winter Use Plan

Ever wanted to see Yellowstone in the winter, but snowmobiling or riding in a snow coach just isn't your thing?  Wouldn't it be great to see Yellowstone on your fatbike?

Fatbikes are not currently allowed on groomed Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Park roads in the winter. Yet the National Park Service already grooms these roads for snow coach and snowmobile use, so it doesn't require additional resources to prepare trails for fatbikes.

Yellowstone National Park has been trying to finalize its Winter Use Plan for what seems like forever. The upside to their inability to adopt a final plan is that we, the non-motorized user group, gets one more shot at voicing our desire to have increased access to the parks in the Winter.

Please click the link below and send in a short comment letter. Scott has written an excellent letter you may use as a template.

Click here to comment by October 9th.

Scott's comment letter:

To Whom it May Concern,

I am writing to express my desire to see Fat Bicycles, bicycles specifically designed for travel on groomed Winter roads, allowed in Yellowstone National Park during the Winter months. Currently, there is a significant lack of Non-Motorized alternatives by which to visit the park in the Winter. "Fat Bikes" are one of the fastest growing segments of the bicycle industry with sales doubling every year - far outpacing any forecasts (approximately 5000 units sold nationally in 2011). Although these numbers are still a drop in the bucket compared to Winter motorized sales, the rate of growth is to be noticed.

Fat Bikes are growing in popularity for a number of reasons: 1. They are safe and stable so people of all ages feel comfortable on them 2. They are simple and easy to ride with a very small learning curve 3. They are affordable compared to other Winter transportation alternatives. 4. They are fun!

I strongly feel that our National Parks should be encouraging more non-motorized use - why wouldn't you? If the numbers are not there yet to justify the addition of a new user group does that mean that the mode of transportation should be totally ignored? Why wouldn't the park take the lead and encourage more non-motorized use to drive the user numbers?

In the past, issues of safety have been brought up in regards to Fat Bikes. This is completely unfounded. Fat Bikes are every bit as stable as cross county skis and take up less room on the roads. With 60 million cyclists in the United States, there is also a greater percentage of visitors to the Park who know how to ride a bike compared to using cross country skis.

To be clear, this is no longer a new user group. Land Managers around the Country have embraced Fat Bikes, developed standards of etiquette, and have successfully managed Fat Bikes along side Snowmobiles. It is time for Yellowstone National Park to take this issue seriously and open up the Park to Fat Bicycles in the Winter.

I also would like to submit support for expanded cross country skiing opportunities and the development of a yurt system to be used by non-motorized users.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

Scott Fitzgerald 

Send ITD an Email Today to Save Cycling Funding

The new federal transportation bill became law yesterday, October 1.  Some components of the bill are left up to state transportation departments to decide how to direct funding.  This means the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) will be looking at how to prioritize the limited funding available.

Funding projects including bike lanes and sidewalks are great ways to help ITD meet the following goals in its strategic plan:

• Commit to having the safest transportation system possible

• Provide a mobility-focused transportation system that drives economic opportunity.

If you care about having safe commuting options that include bike lanes and sidewalks and ensuring that kids can walk and bike to school safely, now is the time to contact the Idaho Transportation Department.
In order to have your comments available to ITD board members before their October board meeting, please send them to by tomorrow, WEDNESDAY October 3, 2012.

What to say:

1.  Let them know that you support the goal of having the “safest transportation system possible” and you support continued funding of walking and biking programs, like Safe Routes to Schools and Transportation Alternatives.

2.  Tell them why you support these programs- are you a bicycle commuter?  Does your child walk to school?  Have you ever walked somewhere you felt unsafe?
3. THANK ITD for all the wonderful Transportation Enhancements projects funded in Idaho!
4. Tell ITD that you CHOOSE to walk and bike as your transportation mode of choice!

Where to send your comments:
Please address your letter to Idaho Transportation Board. You can email it to Carla Anderson - She is collecting all letters/emails and relaying to the board.

Thanks to:
Cynthia Gibson
Executive Director
Idaho Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance
P.O. Box 1594  Boise, Idaho  83701
"The Idaho Pedestrian & Bicycle Alliance promotes walking, bicycling and other forms of human-powered transportation as healthy, sustainable, reliable and viable options for all Idahoans."

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