By now, you probably know Austin has some serious traffic. But did you know that Austin is one of the Top 5 Most Congested Cities in America? With 110 people moving here every single day, it’s no surprise that traffic seems to be getting worse, even though we’ve added hundreds of miles of new roads in the past decade.
Traffic is tough now, and it’s not going to get better any time soon, especially since more than half of new residents bring a car with them. Every day, we add 70 MORE CARS to Austin’s already-clogged city streets! While we could add more roads in some parts of our region, much of the central city is already operating at capacity and there is no room to add more travel lanes. So, what can we do to reduce congestion? Instead of focusing on how many more lanes we can build, we can focus on how to move more people through those lanes. The easiest way is to reduce single-occupancy vehicle trips by helping people find alternative options. Bussing, biking, walking and carpooling are all great ways to increase the number of people we can move through our busy streets.
As you can see from the Washington Post animated gif on the left, moving 200 people in their own cars takes up a lot of space. Instead, imagine what would happen if those same 200 people decided to ride bicycles downtown. Or, what if those 200 people took the bus or train? It would leave a lot more room on the street, especially during rush hour, when travel lanes are most clogged. Luckily, we already have the tools at our disposal to make smarter trips through the city, whether to get to work, a lunch meeting or to hang out downtown on the weekend. No matter how you choose to explore the city, leaving your car or carpooling with a friend can make a huge difference!