7 projects around greater San Antonio receive part of ‘historic’ TxDOT funding

The funding aims to provide transportation alternatives, construction to assist pedestrians and bicyclists

Several projects in and around the greater San Antonio area received funding from a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) grant to address pedestrian and bicycle needs.

The “historic” $345 million in grants was approved for 83 total projects around the state geared toward safety enhancements and mobility options, according to a TxDOT news release.

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Money from the grant comes as part of the Transportation Alternatives program, which supports local projects across Texas geared toward pedestrian and bicycle amenities.

“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,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Robert “Robie” Vaughn. “This optionality supports safety, active lifestyles, health and wellness, and can provide alternatives to traveling by vehicle.”

Texas is seeing an upward trend in pedestrian and bicycle-related fatalities.

San Antonio was ranked as the 20th most dangerous city for pedestrian safety, according to a 2022 report from Smart Growth America with data gathered between 2016 and 2020.

Traffic fatalities involving pedestrians increased 29.6% in Texas over the last five years, according to TxDOT data. In 2022, there were 5,764 crashes involving pedestrians in the state, resulting in 829 deaths, the data showed.

“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,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin New.

The projects range from sidewalks connecting to schools to improving transit options and shared-use pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Below are the projects that were approved for funding around San Antonio:

The University of Texas at San Antonio

UTSA was awarded $11.7 million to improve walkability and bikeability. The campus plans to renovate Brenan Avenue, a central path for pedestrians, vehicles, and cyclists traveling through the campus.

The proposed changes come as UTSA’s Office of Sustainability advocates for a more walkable campus.

The funding will allow UTSA to emphasize pedestrian and bicycle safety on the thoroughfare by constructing a 12-foot-wide pedestrian path and an eight-foot-wide bicycle track, according to a report from UTSA Today.

Accompanying the pathways will be raised crosswalks, ADA improvements, additional bicycle racks, lighting and safety improvements.

The project supports a greater, centralized focus on pedestrians and a “compact campus core.” The tenants align with the university’s Campus Master Plan, which will effectively “discourage vehicles within the core [of the campus]” over time.

The $11.7 million grant will accompany an existing $407,000 TxDOT grant, which, among other things, was leveraged to study and promote alternative transportation options on the growing campus.

Castroville

The City of Castroville received $179,797 for its “Reconnecting Castroville’s Alsatian History through Active Transportation Plan.”

“The grant seeks to establish safe pedestrian and bicycle access along and across Highway 90,” City Administrator Scott Dixon said in an email.

Dixon clarified that the grant will not construct anything but cover the engineering design costs.

The city applied for a second grant to construct a walking bridge over the Medina River between the Landmark Inn and Steinbach Haus on the city’s eastern side but was not granted funding.

Alamo Heights

Alamo Heights has been at work with TxDOT to re-develop a stretch of Broadway from Austin Highway to Burr Road.

Drainage and aging water improvements, flood mitigation and beautification efforts will come from the $10.9 million in funding that Alamo Heights received. Wider sidewalks, possible bike lanes and crosswalks could also come as the project progresses.

“The project is still several years away from officially starting, and we continue to work with TXDOT in the development of this project,” City Manager Buddy Kuhn said in an email.

Kuhn said the city became aware of the grant in January 2023. They submitted an application for consideration in late May.

Lytle

Lytle received funds to install sidewalks connecting the business district to new single-family developments on the city’s East Side.

“The Transportation Alternatives Grant of $4,259,809 is huge for a small community like ours,” City Administrator Matthew Dear said in an email.

A mockup of Lytle's proposal. (Kimberley-Horn Engineering)

Dear said that TxDOT would handle the project since it is on their roadway.

The City of Lytle was awarded $1,534,837 through the same grant in October 2021 to install sidewalks and shared-use paths around schools. TxDOT will also handle this project, and according to Dear, construction for that project is expected to begin soon.

Downtown San Antonio

Downtown San Antonio streets will see the addition of more bike lanes thanks to a $16 million grant.

According to a KSAT report, the project will construct nearly one mile of two-way, separated bike lanes through downtown San Antonio from Flores Street to Interstate 37.

The route for the new lanes will include Dolorosa, Market, Alamo and Commerce streets. The project will also upgrade traffic signals, signage, and bicycle and pedestrian safety lighting.

The grant is expected to cover 100% of the preliminary engineering and construction costs, with the latter expected to begin in fiscal year 2026.

Seguin

Seguin will use $2,002,496 to implement a shared-use path on Joe Carillo and Countryside Boulevards.

“This project is awaiting direction and kick off from TxDOT,” City of Seguin PIO Jennifer Sourdellia said in an email. “After meeting with TxDOT, we will have a better idea on a timeline.”

Several proposed crosswalks and the addition of flashing school zone lights are among the city’s plans for the streets. ADA-certified paths on both streets are also among the proposals.

A mockup of Seguin's proposals. (City of Seguin)

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About the Author

Mason Hickok is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, walking his dogs and listening to podcasts.

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