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The Wichita Falls cycling community was excited and proud when the city was awarded bronze recognition as a bike-friendly community by the League of American Cyclists.

Now the city is poised to invest in a five-year plan for infrastructure that will help cement their dedication to long-term bicycle friendliness.

During the 4B Sales Tax Corporation board of directors meeting Thursday, Wichita Falls Director of Aviation, Traffic and Transportation John Burrus outlined short-term and long-range actions for prepping roadways to be more bike friendly.

Now that the city was noticed as a bronze-level bike-friendly community, the goal is to show the city supports cyclists by creating a safe infrastructure of roadways for bike use.

The 4B board approved $100,000 of funding toward striping of about 22 miles of roadway for shared use between cyclists and motorists.

Designated roadways will be marked every 250 feet with emblems for the bicycle lanes.

The funding will go before city council September 15 for final consideration.

Burrus said roadways dedicated for bike-use only is more difficult and expensive to arrange than share lanes, however, the city would like to have some dedicated bike-only roadways in the future.

The bike infrastructure project is expected to cost about $4,456 per mile of roadway.

Cost of the project will be about $100,000 annually for five years for a total cost of $500,000.

Burrus said the cost covers materials and they will be saving a great deal of money by completing the work like striping and sign making with current city staff.

The bike-friendly community designation must be renewed every five years. Investing in an infrastructure project like this with dedicated funding will put the city in a positive position to retain their bronze designation or possibly even move up to the silver or gold level.

Claire Kowalick, a senior journalist for the Times Record News, covers local government, military and MSU Texas. If you have a news tip, contact Claire at [email protected]

Twitter: @KowalickNews

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