Austin’s Traffic Now Worse Than NYC — 41 Hours Average There Stuck in Traffic

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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. “





Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature, and, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. mmCandy Evans says

    True, gas prices shoot up and we pull back, drive less. I still think we should explore tearing down I345. It's ugly as sin and the most damn confusing highway. I would couple it with a complete traffic re-design of downtown Dallas somehow. I personally think downtown Dallas is the worst place to drive — streets make no sense. But then, I think every city should be based on a logical grid like Chicago! I can still find my way around the Windy even with traffic!

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