Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 01, 2013
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Ellis/Murphy Legislation to Increase Houston Hike and Bike Trails Passes Senate

HB 200 ensure riders and hikers trail access on utility-owned right of way

(Austin, Texas) — Legislation by Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and State Representative Jim Murphy (R-Houston) to spur development of more hike and bike trains in Harris County passed the Texas Senate today. The legislation, HB 200, will help create trails Harris County voters approved last November in a quicker, more efficient and cost effective way.

If passed, HB 200 would provide up to 135 miles of connected trails in Houston. The legislation allows the City of Houston to enter into recreational use agreements with electric utility providers to create new hike and bike trails on right-of-way land owned or leased by utilities, at virtually no cost for the land. In exchange, the utilities will receive limited liability protection arising from the recreational use of their property.

The bill only applies to Harris County.

"The people of Houston have said loud and clear that they want more hike and bike trails," said Ellis. "But it has become very difficult to acquire the land in urban areas like Houston that is suitable for development of trails. This legislation is a unique and innovative compromise solution to develop new trails without undue delays and excess cost."