Having been in Austin 13 years, I’ve noticed an increase in traffic in the time I have lived here for sure, but it seems the past 2 years have been way worse than years past. This makes sense considering that the Austin City Demographer estimates that 85+ people are moving to the Austin area a DAY. Yes every single day. And our city’s current transportation methods are definitely not set up to accommodate for the growing population.
I notice more people complaining about traffic, and in my very informal survey’s with friends they all concur. I find myself looking to avoid traffic times as much as possible.. which can be tricky with my line of work, especially with a downtown office. This feeling was further validated by the following articles in the past few years.
- This article from Austin American-Statesman which was written in 2011 put Austin as the third worst in the NATION. Sheesh!
- Another article from INRIX written in May 2013, also puts Austin at some of the worst traffic in the US
The city is working on solutions, and one of the most interesting propositions I’ve seen is called the ‘cut-and-cap’ idea. It certainly looks interesting, and their rendering of what downtown could look like is definitely intriguing and appealing. The good news is that this project organizer is looking for feedback from the community and has the backing of several downtown groups.
Several other cities have also done similar things, including Dallas (although their park is built on top of part of the highway), and I figure, if Dallas can back a project like this… Austin certainly can. Check out the Klyde Warren Park
Read the full article by following this link: Community Impact – Central Austin, cut-and-cap
So, in answer the question that started this post, traffic is definitely going get bad in the mean time, my estimation is at least another year. Whatever plan is adopted, will need to go through several levels of approval process’ so…. as much as I hate to say it… I don’t see traffic getting any better any time soon.
Oh, and before I forget, once the city approves a plan… well, then, we deal with the actual construction process itself, which is no doubt, going to be quite the adventure. I say ‘bring it on!’.