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We’re famous … for traffic?

Austin traffic … always a topic of conversation!  I still trace the beginning of the problem to the fast-growth 1980s and years of city managment that assumed, “If we ignore the growth it will go away!”  So we entered the 1990s a metro area of well over 1/2-million with roads built for a city half that size.   We have never really caught up.  Now we have a not-so-positive distinction:  Austin ranked 4th worst traffic in U.S.  If you read my blog often, you know that I have a problem with exaggerated headlines, and with the fact that they are so easy to find.

What this article really says is that the I-35 corridor through Austin — and more specifically, the mile or so where the interstate approaches the Colorado River northbound — is horribly congested.  Yep, it sure is!  But does that mean the whole city has the worst traffic is the country?  I have driven in many of the cities ranked better, and I drive all the time in Austin, and I’ll pick Austin traffic over most of them!  We have a few locations and a couple of times each day when traffic is a serious issue.  In many other cities traffic is an all-day every-day problem.

Sure Austin gets congested, and I have more flexibility than many people in choosing when I drive.  I also know more detours and less-traveled routes than a lot of folks who don’t drive as much as I do.  Still, though, things really move pretty well here most of the time.  

And …

relieving congestion on IH-35 was a major selling point in getting the SH-130 tolled by-pass built.  If you’ve ever spent any time in that Riverside area traffic jam, you know that getting the 18-wheelers off the interstate and onto the by-pass would improve the situation significantly.   Unfortunately, the per-axle tolls on SH-130 have kept virtually all commercial vehicles on IH-35, right through the center of Austin and on the major thoroughfare from Mexico to the U.S. heartland and the Canadian border!   Give them a break!  Tell trucking companies, “By-pass Austin, drive SH-130 for FREE!”   The state and city could trade maintenance on IH-35 for maintenance on SH-130, and dramatically reduce the through-traffic congestion in and around downtown Austin!

Obviously, I’m not a traffic management professional, but it seems like a no-brainer to at least try this approach!

About Bill Morris, Realtor

Many years of business experience (high tech, client service, business organization and start-up, including almost 20 years in real estate) tell me that service is the key to success and I look forward to serving you. I represent both buyers and sellers throughout the Austin metropolitan area, which means first-hand market knowledge is brought to bear on serving your needs. Learn more about my background and experience, my commitment to my clients, my profession, and to the real estate industry at


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