The Texas Transportation Commission recently approved over $345 million for new sidewalks, bikeways, and other types of active transportation infrastructure projects statewide.
[Above photo by TxDOT]
The funding will go towards 83 projects designed to improve bicycle and pedestrian access while providing safety enhancements and mobility options to schools, jobs, public transit systems, and local destinations, the commission said.
The Texas Department of Transportation noted that some the projects approved by the commission include sidewalks connecting to schools and transit options, shared-use paths benefiting both pedestrians and cyclists, new pedestrian bridges, and 15 planning studies.
“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,” noted Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert “Robie” Vaughn in a statement. “This optionality supports safety, active lifestyles, health and wellness, and can provide alternatives to traveling by vehicle.”
That funding will also help improve safety for people walking, biking, or using wheelchairs – including 24 projects that will go in areas with a high pedestrian crash history.
TxDOT noted that pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have been on the rise statewide of late. In 2022, the agency noted 830 pedestrians and 92 bicyclists were killed, with fatalities in both categories up some 30 percent over the last five years.
“People who walk and bike make up about one out of every five deaths on roadways here in Texas,” noted Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New. “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.”