New sidewalks, bikeways and other types of infrastructure will help improve safety and enhance quality of life in Texas communities with approval by the Texas Transportation Commission of more than $345 million for projects across the state.
The funding will go towards 83 projects that will improve access while providing safety enhancements and mobility options to schools, jobs, public transit and local destinations. This historic investment in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is more than six times as much funding compared to the last Transportation Alternatives call for projects when it was $55 million in 2021.
“This is a major investment in communities across the state that will help make it safer and easier to get around on foot or a bike,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert “Robie” Vaughn said. “This optionality supports safety, active lifestyles, health and wellness, and can provide alternatives to traveling by vehicle.”
Unfortunately, Texas is seeing a rising trend of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. In 2022 there were 830 pedestrians and 92 bicyclists killed, and over the last five years both have risen nearly 30%. These projects will help improve safety for people walking, biking, or using wheelchairs, including 24 projects that will go in areas with a high pedestrian crash history.
“People who walk and bike make up about 1 out of every 5 deaths on roadways here in Texas,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New said. “These projects will help the state move closer toward the goal of zero deaths by giving people a place to walk and bike separate from traffic.”
Some of the projects approved include sidewalks connecting to schools and transit options, shared-use paths benefiting both pedestrians and cyclists, new pedestrian bridges, and 15 planning studies.
In the Atlanta District, $6.3 million was awarded for two projects. These projects include:
- $4.4 million to supplement a larger grant for improvements to 45 miles along the existing Northeast Texas Trail along US 82 from FM 1840 and continuing west. Improvements include upgrading trail surface materials and installing new trail amenities.
- $1.9 million for constructing a 10-foot wide shared-use path along the east side of FM 3527 (Leopard Drive) from Wallace Park to SH 93 (Lake Drive), as well as a 6-foot side sidewalk along the north side of SH 93 from FM 3527 to Lake Ridge Apartments. The project will add pedestrian crossing signals, pavement markings, signage and safety lighting.
All projects were selected after a competitive call for projects from cities and counties across the state. To see a full list of projects, go to txdot.gov.
The Transportation Alternatives program supports local projects that enhance bicycle and pedestrian amenities for people of all ages and levels of ability. These projects improve safe access to multimodal options and connect important community destinations like schools, jobs, downtowns, commercial areas, and medical facilities for Texans who walk, use a wheelchair, or bike.
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