Trent Reed / eExtra News

Filed Feb. 12, House Committee Resolution 64, authored by Texas State Rep. Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston, encourages Texas Department of Transportation to develop and support bikeway network projects.

VanDeaver’s resolution, backed by the 2018 Texas Bicycle Tourism Trails Study, encourages TxDOT to develop and support bikeway network projects and have it leverage $8 million to $80 million from existing federal funds designated for non-motorized uses.

Northeast Texas Trail Coalition’s Executive Director Jack Neal said the NETT “strongly supports” VanDeaver’s resolution.

Jimmy Don Nicholson, Founding Board Member of the Northeast Texas Trail Coalition, said many of the towns the trails travel through are economically distressed “and very much in need of the kind of economic revitalization that can occur through the trail.”

“States across America are seeing the growth of bicycle tourism,” Neal said. “We agree that the investment of seed money now will pay dividends to all of Texas as we create multi-use paths and trails for use by not just local citizens and fellow Texans, but tourists from outside the state.”

Kelly Whitley, NETT Coalition Board Secretary, echoed Nicholson and Neal’s sentiment toward the revitalization of economically distressed cities.

“This is evidenced as states across America, such as Missouri – i.e. the Katy Trail – benefit greatly from the growth of bicycle tourism on rail trail projects,” Whitley said.

In his resolution, VanDeaver said, according to the Bicycle Tourism Trails Study, investing in a statewide network of bikeways would benefit local cities economically and promote health and well-being.


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