Traffic in Austin

September 30th, 2015, Posted By Austin Housemates

Austin is growing too fast for our roads to handle. Have you noticed traffic lately? Rush hour starts earlier and last forever it seems like. The city itself is working on improving roads and smoothing traffic across I-35, Mopac, and 183, but while they work on these changes, sometimes it only makes traffic worse. So what is being done to alleviate this unwanted stress?

The U.S. Department of Transportation – Beyond Traffic

Austin will see up to 70 million people come into our city over the next few years, and that is an insane amount of growth! It can be expected due to the amount of jobs and opportunities this city offers, but in order to compensate for this massive crowd, the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a stand. The first of 11 hearings involving fast-growing cities and their traffic will kick off today, and Austin will be well-represented. The backups downtown along with the rush-hour traffic seen every day on the highway are just a few of the issues that will be addressed at the meeting. This is only the beginning of the DOT’s Beyond Traffic plan, a 30-Year Framework that is aimed at improving road conditions across the country. For more information, visit the DOT website.

MLK & I-35

One of the busiest and most dangerous intersections in our city is the crossover between Martin Luther King Blvd and the south I-35 service road. Over 79 people have died at this intersection in just this year alone, which has prompted the city council to invest over $300,000 improving the traffic and the safety of this intersection for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. New lanes will be added to alleviate the heavy traffic flow and reduce the number of collisions happening at this intersection, and the City of Austin intends to take care of some crosswalk and curb work on the east-to-south right turn. This will protect both drivers and pedestrians, and increase safety for the students walking and working nearby. The contract begins October 1st, so expect to see a few changes and a little more traffic until the improvements are made.

In order to improve traffic downtown, Austin has renewed its contract with Car2Go in order to give more Austinites access to easy and affordable transportation without having to worry about parking, insurance, or even owning their own car. But the changes made to this contract shrunk Car2Go’s service area to focus primarily on downtown, with key access areas on Cesar Chavez, Pleasant Valley, and Lamar. The cars are still able to travel as far north as Steck and Anderson Ln and as far south as Stassney, but these far distances are for return trips only. Unlike the urban Car2Go in the city, drivers will not be able to leave the car for another driver outside of 51st street, which will make it difficult for commuters living up north.

Where you live in the city will definitely affect your perception of traffic and your ability to access public transportation and awesome services like Car2Go. If you have any thoughts about traffic, comment below or share your news with us on Facebook.