Nikki Gill, 28, is the sales and marketing manager for the Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch. She is a fifth-generation native.
“The reality of the matter is that a significant percentage of the Jackson workforce doesn’t live in the town of Jackson,” Gill said, “which means we need to focus more of our attention on efficient motorized transportation within the county and region.”
Gill’s solution for curbing traffic is widening roads and increasing connections “so that vehicles can get where they are going in a safe and timely manner.
“Not only is traffic an important issue when discussing transportation, but safety is as well,” she said. “Right now we have an arterial road system that lacks redundancy. When we don’t have secondary routes it creates major safety issues.”
She sees improvements to the “Y” intersection at U.S. 89 and Highway 22 as a top funding priority, along with constructing the Tribal Trails connector road.
“The ‘Y’ not only serves as one of the gateways to Jackson, but it’s also where we see the greatest traffic congestion,” she said. “Reconstruction of the ‘Y’ should accommodate all modes of transportation with emphasis on improvements upon signal and bus transit prioritization.
“The Tribal Trails connector will provide some relief to the congestion at the ‘Y,’ while also serving the local and regional population that surrounds it.”
Gill also believes traffic can be mitigated by improving the public transportation system, specifically by increasing the frequency of stops on each route and expanding commuter services.
“There are currently only three trips a day, Monday through Friday, to Star Valley and Teton Valley, which only accommodates people working a traditional 9 to 5 workday,” she said. “A huge portion of the Jackson workforce doesn’t hold those hours, which means riding the START bus isn’t an option for many commuters.”