In a move to enhance bicycle commuting safety and accessibility, the City of Paris in Northeast Texas has secured funding from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for dedicated bicycle lanes. Awarded through the Transportation Alternatives Program, the funds will support the construction of five-foot-wide bicycle lanes connecting the Northeast Texas Trail to Historic Downtown Paris.
The project, spearheaded by City of Paris Engineer Todd Mittge and Chris Donnan of Hayter Engineering, will link downtown Paris with the Trail de Paris section of the NE Texas Trail near First Street SW and Hearne Avenue. The bicycle lanes will be marked on existing pavement along each side of First Street SW, extending from West Sherman Street to Kaufman Street.
Mittge expressed satisfaction at being among the 82 selected recipients out of 465 applications statewide, emphasizing the importance of TxDOT recognizing the need for increased bike lane infrastructure in the city. The southbound bicycle lane will extend north along First Street SW to Kaufman Street, while the northbound lane will turn onto West Sherman Street and then north on South Main Street to Kaufman Street.
To ensure safety, the project includes lane striping, bicycle lane markings, installation of no-parking signs along the paths, safety signs at intersections, and vertical delineators approximately every 500 feet. The total project funding, part of TxDOT's TA program administering federal funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, is valued at $345 million. The City of Paris will receive just over $400,000, requiring a 20% match from the city to secure the grant funds. The initiative marks a significant step towards fostering a more bicycle-friendly environment in the community.