Wyoming Pathways proposes a new “Good Roads 2.0” campaign to take a fresh look at how streets and highways can be better designed to serve all users, including motor vehicle travelers and people walking and bicycling.
Through a mix of community outreach and communications, Wyoming Pathways will raise public discussion on the benefits that complete streets provide, document community and agency needs, and provide tools to help.
Today’s modern highways trace their roots to the original Good Roads Movement, a highly successful, late 19th Century campaign, led interestingly enough by a bicycle advocacy group, the League of American Wheelmen, founded in 1880.
Good Roads concepts were popular in Wyoming. In 1905, the Good Roads Association met in Rawlins at the invitation of Gov. B. B. Brooks to discuss road improvements needed for the people of Wyoming. Many of the highways we use today had their beginnings in these meetings.
In addition to advocating for better roads and more regular maintenance, members of the movement also requested government funding of roads, arguing that good roads were simply essential for the health of the country and the economy. Members of the movement also lobbied for bicycle paths and more organized traffic laws to make sharing the roads safer and easier for all.
These same principles apply today. A multi-modal transportation system, properly funded and maintained, is essential infrastructure for the people of Wyoming. Active transportation – people-powered activities like bicycling and walking — are an integral part of the transportation system. They provide many benefits to Wyoming’s residents and visitors, including efficient transportation and fun recreation. These non-motorized modes of transportation also enhance public health, support economic development and tourism,, and are cornerstones of livable communities.
Good Roads 2.0 is a campaign to support investments in state and federal funding programs for safe highways, streets, and community pathways. This campaign is building on a successful 2012, where WYDOT agreed to set fiscal year 2013 funding levels for transportation alternatives well above federal minimums.
We’ll advocate to continue these programs above the federal minimum and seek increased federal safety funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. We’ll create reports on these programs and distribute them to state and federal officials.
The campaign will also help identify and advocate for key WYDOT projects and programs that would most benefit bicycling and walking and enhance livability in Wyoming communities.
For state funding, we’ll advocate for the needs and benefits of active transportation and participate in the Wyoming Legislature’s discussions on future funding programs for the state’s transportation needs.
Good Roads 2.0 will help ensure the legislative discussion includes and supports bicycling, walking, and trails as legitimate transportation modes that benefit Wyoming communities and residents.