Gosh, that’s almost a whole work week! According to a study performed by the National Traffic Scorecard, Austin, Texas is the fourth worst city for traffic wait times in the country. It’s even worse than New York City, holding strong at number 5.
We all know what a nightmare I-35 is at any given time of the day, and you might as well just stop somewhere for an hour or three if you hit I-35 anywhere near rush hour, anywhere near Austin.
There’s only one kind of good thing about this report: when we’re poor, we don’t drive so much. Back in the recession, traffic did diminish a little but came back up on the rise in 2013 ‐
“congestion was up for 7 consecutive months from January through July 2013 indicating after 2012’s rollercoaster, a slowly improving economy. Austin racked up three extra hours of average traffic time per year from 2012, putting the city just below the traffic nightmares Los Angeles, Honolulu, and San Francisco in road wait times. “
Having been to all three cities, I can vouch: traffic is such a nightmare in San Francisco that it almost forces you to drive after 11 p.m. just to get anywhere.
Dallas is not on the top five list, at least not yet. But an interesting little take-away from this piece is that people are driving more everywhere!
- Traffic is back on the rise in 2013, even in countries showing continued declines. Traffic congestion was up in six of the 15 countries analyzed: the U.S., UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Italy compared to only one country in 2012 (Luxembourg). Traffic congestion was up in 105 of the 194 cities analyzed.
The ditch your car and walk-it thing is just not happening. Traffic congestion is increasing at three times the rate of employment. Why? Well, perhaps aging Baby Boomers with bad knees can’t hike like they used to, and millennials schlepping babies can’t carry them. And this is something we need to seriously keep in mind with all the talk about tearing down I-345, which I actually support seriously studying. Will removing a highway really make traffic disappear or “find other routes” when there is, in reality, more coming?
” As we reach the 5 year mark since the start of the global recession, people increasingly are moving to where the jobs are. With just over half of the world’s population lives in urban centers today, the UN predicts that 7 of every 10 people will be living in an urban center by 2050. Recently, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford Jr. said the number of vehicles on the word’s roads will grow from 1 billion today to 4 billion in the same period of time. With traffic congestion increasing at 3x the rate of employment, 10‐day long traffic jams like we’ve seen in China and the 2-3 hour daily commutes that are part of daily life for people in Sao Paolo Brazil today could become the reality for drivers in Europe and North America in the not so distant future. “