Texarkana hopes bikes will bring people downtown - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Texarkana hopes bikes will bring people downtown

(Source: alliance-transportation.com) (Source: alliance-transportation.com)
(KSLA News 12) (KSLA News 12)

Texarkana, Texas, officials hope viewing their city from the vantage of a bicycle seat will bring more people - particularly visitors - back downtown.

"We want to bring the residents of Texarkana back to the downtown area. We wanted to promote tourism and show what downtown is really about," city spokesman Heath Coston said.

A $2,500 grant from Union Pacific Railroad has enabled the city to buy a dozen bicycles to station at various points downtown for visitors to use for free.

"Well, I think it is wonderful. I think it is a great opportunity for the city to advance," Texarkana resident Bryce Lawrence said.

City officials said that there are a few details to work out before the bicycle sharing program is up and running but that they are pedaling in the right direction. The hope is that the full ride will start before summer's end.

"For now, it will only be located in the downtown area," Coston said. "But if Texarkana shows a high response rate, we may look into expanding to other areas of the city."

City leaders say more grants from Union Pacific could be forthcoming if this phase of the project proves successful.

A master plan dated September 2009 examines Texarkana's potential, both downtown and citywide, in terms of bicycle and pedestrian traffic. That plan notes: "Bicycling is a popular sport in Texarkana, and the area’s relatively mild climate allows for bicycling and walking for much of the year."

The proposal includes a map of proposed bicycle routes.

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