AUSTIN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Transportation will make $250 million in federal funding available for sidewalks, bike lanes and other shared paths.

The funding will be used in an effort to combat the rising number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities, according to a news release from TxDOT.

TxDOT stated that pedestrian fatalities increased by 15% in 2021, and cyclist fatalities increased by 14%.

“This funding will help communities plan and build walking and biking infrastructure that could help reduce these incidents,” the release stated.

The funds will be a part of the 2023 Transportation Alternative Call for Projects. TxDOT will be holding virtual workshops to help organizations and municipalities apply to receive funding, they stated.

“Making it safer and easier to walk and bike is an important part of our mission of ‘Connecting You with Texas,’” TxDOT Transportation Commissioner Robert “Robie” Vaughn said in the release. “I’m thrilled to see this increase in funding that’ll help communities build impactful improvements for its citizens. As a jogger and cyclist myself, I know the value these enhancements can bring to help Texans get to work, run errands, and enjoy the beautiful Texas outdoors.”

Several projects have been funded through TxDOT’s Transportation Alternatives program, including multi-use rails in Northeast Texas Trail and Bicycle lanes in Bryan, Kingsville, Mathis and Tyler.