Public comment will be heard in a state legislative committee meeting regarding draft legislation that would create a task force to study the “benefits and opportunities” of bicycle paths in Wyoming .

The State Legislature’s Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Teton County Library in Jackson on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 28 and 29.  Comment from the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the public is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The draft legislation would direct the Governor to appoint a “bicycle system task force” composed of 7-9 members.  The task force would include representatives from the Department of Transportation; local government; the Wyoming Office of Tourism/Wyoming Tourism Board; a tourism-related business; a bicycle advocacy group; the Wyoming Business Council; and the State Epidemiologist, Dr. Tracy Murphy.  The Governor would appoint the task force chairman.

The main goal of the task force would be to develop a report to help WYDOT and communities around the state improve their understanding of “the opportunities and challenges of bicycle pathways.”  This would involve considering the health benefits of bicycle and pedestrian recreation, opportunities for bicycle pathways to enhance economic development through increased tourism, how state and local governments might fund bike paths, and safety concerns regarding conflicts between cyclists and motor vehicles.

The task force would be required to submit a preliminary report by Oct. 1, 2016, and a final report by Nov 1, 2017.

Right now, the proposal is in draft form only and has not been introduced in legislative session.  The State Legislature is set to resume on Feb. 8 at the Jonah Business Center in Cheyenne for the 2016 Budget Session.

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