JACKSON, Wyo. Gov. Dave Freudenthal says a planned path system in Grand Teton National Park should be named for a girl who died when she was hit by a van while riding a bike in the park in 1999.
The family of Gabriella Axelrad has played a key role in getting approval and funding for the Grand Teton pathway system.
Freudenthal wrote Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott last week and said he supports the plan to build 41 miles of pathways.
"Not only is it safer, and will hopefully prevent another horrible tragedy such as befell the Axelrad family, but in this day of declining gasoline supplies, increasing gas prices, and all of the other environmental and health issues facing us, it seems to me a good idea to do what we can to support and facilitate nonmechanized means of transportation in our parks," Freudenthal wrote.
He said the Axelrad family had suggested the name "Gabriella's Trail" for the path system.
"I certainly do support that suggestion, and respectfully request that you give it serious consideration," Freudenthal wrote.
Freudenthal was U.S. attorney for Wyoming before being elected governor in 2002 and played a role in prosecuting the driver who killed Axelrad.
Scott said in a statement that she had been discussing with the Axelrad family "some appropriate form of recognition for Gabriella."
The path system is expected to cost about $45 million. It will include nine miles of paths from the park's south end to Antelope Flats Road and 15 miles between Jenny Lake and Colter Bay. A 10-mile path will follow Teton Park Road from Moose Junction to North Jenny Lake Junction.
Three miles of pathway along Moose-Wilson Road will link the Granite Canyon entrance station and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve.