PROPS & DISSES: Road Resistance

By on July 30, 2013


spring gulchRoad resistance DISS

Just pave Spring Gulch Road already. How long can the Lucases keep their stretch of that much-used thoroughfare all beat to hell? At one point the Lucases had a point: Leaving a three-mile or so stretch of Spring Gulch unpaved would deter tourists and joyriders from blasting by and kicking up dust.

But Spring Gulch is no longer the quiet little bucolic two-lane it once was. With Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Land and Cattle (or whatever name it’s going by this month), and Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis all attracting more and more motorists – Spring Gulch Road is getting hammered. Now add ever-expanding development at Bar BC Ranch, throw in the recent reconstruction of the five-way in town, and it’s plain to see SGR is the preferred method of West Bank-to-all points north for travelers wishing to avoid town congestion.

I feel for the ranching community along that washboarded, potholed mess of a dirt road, but keeping it gritty just to be shitty is plain spiteful. Now that Bar BC has paved the 2,700 feet from their entrance north so their patricians can hit the links without spilling their gin and tonics, it leaves some 18,000 feet of pure hubcap-popping hell on suspensions that needs to get blacktopped.

The proposed roundabout at the Gros Ventre junction virtually guarantees it’s coming soon.

Yellowstone or bus! DISS

It’s a nice idea but it will never work. Why would a family on vacation drive hundreds or thousands of miles to Western Wyoming, park the RV and get on a bus to Yellowstone? They wouldn’t. And they aren’t.

Linx, a transportation cooperative that has secured a $145,000 WyDOT grant, is wondering why no one (to be fair, it’s actually four to five passengers per week) wants to board buses to the park. The great, great majority of summer travelers to our region are coming in their own vehicles. Whether massive diesel pushers or SUVs, families use their vehicle as a home away from home. Everything they need, from sunscreen to snacks is in there somewhere – rattling around on the floorboards, shoved in a backseat organizer, or wedged into the console container.

Americans treasure the freedom their vehicle gives them. They can stop when and where they want for pictures or potty breaks. They can play music, adjust the temperature, or fight over both. You will never pry the steering wheel from dad’s grip with the offer of $25 rides to Yellowstone from downtown Jackson. You won’t even get tourists to park and ride if it was free.

The premise is noble but it’s not based on reality, and it’s a waste of $145K.

About Jake Nichols

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