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Old 01-13-2009, 01:20 PM
bm1984
 
Location: Austin, TX
9 posts, read 11,784 times
Reputation: 13
I'll try to help you with this one. The west side of Austin is beautiful and would be a much more relaxing lifestyle for you than the slums of flat polluted Houston (where I grew up myself).

The only real traffic in Austin are on North/South roads toward the center of the city, with I-35 having the absolute worst traffic. Though I also hear RM2222 between RM620 and Loop 1 (which we also call MoPac) can be bad in the mornings.

I'd avoid living somewhere where you'd have to travel from the North to the South in the mornings. South to the North isn't as bad, but there's still signifigant traffic.

With no traffic, on I-35 or Loop 1 it takes about 20-30 minutes to go from the far south border of Austin to the far North border of Austin. However, I-35 can have traffic at anytime of the day, even 9pm at night. Though, the opening of the 130 Tollway has helped slightly. East to West is much shorter, for it only takes about 10-15 minutes to travel from the Western border to the Eastern border (on SH71).

Dripping Springs is a lot further out than Lake Travis, but the trafic on US290 West never really gets bad except for in this one 2-mile or so area called Oak Hill where they stopped expansion of the highway and it backs up at lights. It'd probably take you 30 minutes or so to get into Austin from Dripping Springs, though I'm not entirely sure.

Personally, I commute from Southwest Austin to Northeast Austin every morning via SH71 to US183 North and there's never any traffic. It takes me about 25-30 minutes (depending on which lights I hit).

As far as best places to live outside Austin, I'd definitely recommend the Bee Cave area or further west if you could afford it -- anywhere out down SH71 West, on the south side of Lake Travis. There is a lot of vacant land out there and the area is really growing, so it's the perfect time to buy land out there, for the values are expected to surge. I've also heard Dripping Springs is nice, and you also may want to check out Wimberly, TX.
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