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Do you want more bicycle and pedestrian facilities in your town? This is your opportunity to speak out and encourage your city or county to submit bicycle projects for funding. Texas cyclists will need to be pro-active to get funding in their communities. Please contact your city and county governments and encourage them to submit the best bicycle trail projects in your area for funding. If communities hope to nominate a project, they need to begin the planning process as soon as possible to meet the April 28 deadline.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will receive more than $87 million each year for the next five years for Transportation Enhancement funding. In November, TxDOT announced a Program Call for transportation projects to receive funding from the Statewide Transportation Enhancement Program, including bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
The record-high level of funds has been authorized through the SAFETEA-LU federal transportation bill, enacted in 2005. In Texas, bicycle and pedestrian projects have received as much as 70 percent of these funds in the past, which could translate to about $60 million for bicycle projects in Texas per year through this program!
The average project grant is often between $1 million and $3 million. Projects that are more likely to be approved include those located near schools and/or those that attract tourists, given the recent enactment of Texas Bicycle Tourism Trails legislation.
Many of Texas’ best renowned bicycle facilities have been built with Transportation Enhancement funding. Examples include:
Pfluger Bridge over Town Lake in Austin
KATY Trail in Dallas
Trinity River Trail Extension in Fort Worth
East & West Brays Bayou Trails in Houston
Mineral Wells – Weatherford Rail to Trail conversion
Project nominations will be accepted now through April 28, 2006. Your local TxDOT district office has an Enhancement Coordinator who can offer assistance with applications. For more information and instructions on how to nominate a project, visit the Statewide Transportation Enhancement Program website.