The latest numbers from Texas DOT show that for every 100 miles traveled by bicyclists in Texas, there are 2.5 fatalities.
According to a 2016 study by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which found that bicycling accounts for only a few tenths of one percent of the state’s total transportation-related deaths, the state is actually one of Texas’ worst biking-friendly states.
A study by Texas A&M University Transportation Institute in 2017 found that bike infrastructure in Texas was worse than the worst-case scenario of an interstate highway.
“There is clearly no need for motor vehicles to be in a position to slow down,” said Mark Wessel, a transportation professor at Texas A & M and co-author of the study.
Texas DOT, the agency responsible for planning the state highway system, has been slow to develop plans to build bicycle lanes.
But, in 2018, the legislature passed legislation that mandated that the state develop a plan to create “safe, convenient, safe and reliable bicycle lanes.”
The legislation is currently under consideration in the Texas Senate.
“Bicycle lanes have proven to be very effective at reducing the number of bicyclists who are killed on our highways,” said State Senator Kevin Eltife, a Democrat from Arlington.
“They have also been extremely popular in other cities across the state, especially in rural areas.
This bill will help make this happen in Texas.”
The bill is a major step toward improving the state transportation system, which currently has an average of three crashes per 100,000 miles of travel.
Last year, the Department of Transportation said that bicycle crashes in Texas averaged more than 40 per day.
Currently, bike lanes have been installed on four state highways, including the Brazos River Bridge, Interstate 35, I-35W, and I-45.
Bicycle lanes were installed on a total of four state and local highways in the 2017 legislative session.
The new bill would allow the state to install a single-lane bike lane on I-55 near the I-10 exit, but only if the state had the funds to build the lane.
That’s why, for the 2017 session, legislators approved $1.2 billion for road and bridge projects, which will likely require an extra $400 million.
“The bill would create a funding stream for infrastructure projects that are in the best interest of Texans, and will enable Texas to be a great bicycling destination in the coming years,” Eltifesaid.
“This bill will make it easier for the state and its residents to move safely and affordably on our roads.”