JACKSON, Wyoming — Homeowners in Teton Village are expressing concern about a plan to regulate the number of vehicles along a road corridor in the southern end of Grand Teton National Park, though park officials say their plan wouldn't decrease net traffic.
Teton Village is near the south end of Moose-Wilson Road. The road is part gravel and winds into Grand Teton from the south.
Park officials have been looking at how to improve the road with changes including new parking areas. Their preferred plan is to allow no more than 200 vehicles on the road and nearby parking lots at a time to limit congestion.
The 200-vehicle cap might be misguided, Teton Village Association Executive Director Melissa Turley told the Jackson Hole News & Guide (http://bit.ly/1Nsg8UQ).
"I think some sort of limiting of vehicles on that road was certainly reasonable," Turley said. "But is that the right number?"
Turley suggested a system of small shuttle buses to control traffic.
Grand Teton managers say their plan wouldn't decrease visitation.
"The average for the peak part of the summer was about 2,100 vehicles per day, but some days up around 2,500 on the peaks," said Gary Pollock, the park's management assistant. "We're not putting a limit on that, so I would expect that we would continue to see those types of numbers."
Motorists could actually cruise the road under the proposed rules, Deputy Superintendent Kevin Schneider said. "More people driving the road overall, and more people per day and more people each season. It doesn't roll back the number of cars," Schneider said.
Factoring in parked cars, Grand Teton officials anticipate an average of about 60 vehicles will be on the go along Moose-Wilson Road when the corridor is at its 200-vehicle cap. They estimate the other 140 cars, which count toward the cap, would be parked at the Granite and Death Canyon trailheads and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.
Other groups and citizens have come out in support of Grand Teton's preferred alternative and the traffic queuing system. They include Franz Camenzind with Friends of the Moose-Wilson Corridor.
"We have to be aware that the park needs to nurture its resources, and not necessarily the values of the gateway communities," he said. "And I think that this goes a long way toward that."
Information from: Jackson Hole (Wyo.) News And Guide, http://www.jhnewsandguide.com