The Wyoming Legislature voted Wednesday to create a task force to study the challenges to and potential benefits of creating bicycle and pedestrian pathways statewide.

The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Matt Mead, who is expected to sign the measure into law Monday.

Senate File 8 passed the House by a margin of 38-22 with minor amendments. The Senate passed the measure the same day by a margin of 20-9 with one member excused.

Senate President Phil Nicholas and House Speaker Kermit Brown signed the bill on Thursday.

“This is the first ever state-level effort to study the benefits and opportunities of bicycle and pedestrian pathways and natural surface trails,” said Wyoming Pathways Executive Director Tim Young.

The bill aims to create a task force – to include members of government agencies such as the Department of Health and the Wyoming Tourism Board as well as members of the public and various advocacy groups – that will examine how bicycle and pedestrian pathways and natural surface trails might provide economic benefit through additional tourism opportunities.

The task force will also examine safety considerations, potential health benefits and options for funding the construction of such pathways.

“The task force will be a boost to communities around Wyoming as they work to enhance biking, walking and trail systems,” says Young.

A press release from Wyoming Pathways – a bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group – says no new funding is attached to Senate File 8. Task force members representing the public would cover their own expenses, while the budgets of relevant state agencies would fund the efforts of government staff.

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