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Austin Ranks #4 in America’s Worst Commutes

By ashleyw@mail.utexas.edu  |  News


photo from http://www.utexas.edu/features/archive/2004/traffic.html

According to a recent study by The Daily Beast and traffic services company INRIX, Austin has the fourth worst commute in the nation. They discovered that commuters experience most of this frustration on I-35 with the worst bottleneck being Northbound around Riverside Drive.

Kara Kockelman, professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering and UT traffic expert, attributes heavy traffic on the downtown portion of I-35 to a combination of geography and design.
“It’s very unusual to have a major travel corridor interstate that close to the heart of a significant metro region,” Kockelman said.
The Texas Triangle, encompassing Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, is a heavily traveled region. When combined with downtown rush-hour traffic, conditions throughout the five metro areas can be disastrous, she said.

The double-deck solution to the I-35 traffic problem makes the highway even more accident prone, Kockelman added. With fewer lane choices, drivers find difficulty maneuvering around accidents — and avoiding them. The interstate’s short, “slip” ramps terminate in deadly concrete pillars and leave drivers little merge and weave space.

Read The Daily Texan article here.
The complete study is available here.