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Old 02-08-2010, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Broomfield, CO
1,448 posts, read 1,644,874 times
Reputation: 851
Yes, that is all true my friend. With no plans to do anything about the "horse and buggy" infastructure and that overall "hollier than thou" attitude about Austin, the bottom will soon drop out. With complete gridlock, the quality of life will plummet and people will be leaving this town faster than you can say "get on I-35 to Dallas".

Note to Dallas::Prepare for the influx of about a million more residents in the next 20-30 years--those that don't head back to California, will be heading YOUR WAY. Put cities like Gainesville and Sherman on HIGH ALERT!!!
[


quote=JayBrown80;12523216]I know, I know. There are about a million lists out there of "best of...." or "worst of......" and almost none of them have any basis in Science. However, I ran across this one in The Daily Beast, and thought I would share it with all those wonderful commuters out there.


This "Worst of...." List details the 75 WORST commutes in all of the United States. And out of 75 rankings, I35 in Austin gets slot 4!! Yeah Austin.

So for those of you slowly driving down I35 tomorrow morning, at least you can take comfort in the fact that other people know you are suffering.


#4, I-35, Austin
Weekly hours of bottleneck congestion: 460
Worst bottleneck: Northbound, Riverside Dr
Length of worst bottleneck: .92 mi
Weekly hours of congestion on worst bottleneck: 47
Speed of worst bottleneck when congested: 16.2 mph
The expert opinion: Its the most traveled stretch of roadway of Austin and in the state, says Joe Taylor, traffic reporter for News 8 Austin. Its quirky. It was designed for a small town, and weve grown into a very large city.

Here's the link for those that are curious.

America's 75 Worst Commutes - Page 1 - The Daily Beast[/quote]
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:39 AM
 
97 posts, read 129,597 times
Reputation: 22
When will this problem be fixed?


Sometimes it takes me about 30-40 minutes just to get onto 35 during rush hour near downtown. What a mess!

Hopefully the future will have better transportation methods.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:15 PM
 
802 posts, read 1,142,115 times
Reputation: 451
Quote:
Originally Posted by passionatearts View Post
I'm afraid that even Downtown is almost completely auto-dependent as well because most of the "necessity" stores are located far enough outside of Downtown that taking a bus or riding a bike to them isn't practical.

For instance, if you live Downtown and need to buy hardware, there aren't any hardware stores within easy walking distance (the closest store, Eco Wise, is a 2 mile walk from Downtown).

Until Downtown gets some necessity stores and not just restaurants, bars, and high-end "foo foo" retail stores, I can't imagine that people living there would really go completely without a car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by orbius View Post
Well the Austin city council wants it both ways. They sit on their thumbs and let big box retailers and developers do whatever they want, wherever they want. However when traffic grinds to a halt because of all this development they refuse to build proper infrastructure for the level of traffic their decisions created.
I am all for smart development but they simply cannot ignore the existing traffic problems all over the city that they created. They must build or they must be voted out.
Much of the downtown area has been "foo foo'ed" to suit the taste of newcomers from other southwestern cities where knowledge of fine wine is more important than knowing how to change a flat It's been mentioned in local press that the city is attempting to copy the "smart growth" of other areas, but some locals and newcomers are not accustomed to density, public transit, walking, etc. We see drivers with road rage because they can't blaze through the streets here. Kamikaze bicyclists and pedestrians try to "push back" by plugging up traffic. It's insanity to watch these two crowds fight it out like brats at the expense of everyone else's safety. Meanwhile I'm trying to keep a road-raging monster SUV off my tail as I've been rear-ended way too many times in Austin and don't care to get whiplash again.

Many businesses are enjoying the additional profit and customer base that growth brings, but don't want the population or infrastructure. "if you don't build it, they won't come... but give us the money". Huh? This is not Orlando or Vegas. If you want the milk to keep flowing, you need the cow, not to mention a pasture to put it in.

I strive to to live and work in the same area. But with all that has happened to the job market, and layoffs continuing, sometimes the next job is not conveniently close by. Besides that, occasionally people need goods or services which are only available in another area of town... perhaps a specific medical practitioner or one-of-a-kind specialty shop. Some spouses' jobs are split at different ends of town too. There's really no excuse for not having a proper infrastructure.

Last edited by nomore07; 02-08-2010 at 02:44 PM.. Reason: Spelling... traffic jam on the keyboard
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
680 posts, read 732,289 times
Reputation: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepstein View Post
...about Austin, the bottom will soon drop out. With complete gridlock, the quality of life will plummet and people will be leaving this town faster than you can say "get on I-35 to Dallas".
I remember being scared to buy a 4/2 house on a quarter acre in Allandale for $60,000 when I moved here in 1990. I thought the same way you currently think, that Austin's property values were too high and would soon fall. The house I passed on would sell for between $500,000 and $700,000 today.

For every person like you who leaves Austin because it's hell-on-earth, another 2 move in. The traffic nightmare is the result of people moving here. Your remarks are reminiscent of the old line, "Nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded."

Hence, I moved to Hutto. (Not really, that's an inside joke twixt me and E Epstein. )
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,507 posts, read 2,682,835 times
Reputation: 1210
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
These two posts coming one after the other made me giggle.

Cars don't belong in highly dense areas, so let's solve that problem by encouraging people to live even MORE densely!
You do realize that the folks buying those new condos downtown also have parking spaces for their cars within their building? And what you think of a dense isn't dense at all. Now say Tel Aviv, Tokyo or Cairo, where most people life in mid to high rises and single family homes are almost unknown, is dense and somehow they find ways to have cars. They just have fewer cars per household and smaller ones at that. In the US there are 1.2 vehicles for every licensed driver because of our being overly dependent on cars. In most of Europe for example the driving age is 18 and then kids go off to college where more than likely they will not have a car. Density also makes other forms of transportation, like walking, cycling and mass transit, more feasible so there is even less need for single occupant vehicles. And then we have alternatives to cars like mopeds, motorcycles, and smart cars which take up less room on the roadways and for parking too. Of course on the other side of the equation if you keep going out and out and out it eventually gets to the point where your city, see LA or Houston, is entirely car-dependent and massive amounts of money have to be poured into the highway system since there is no other way to get around. So if you change jobs on the other side of town you are stuck commuting an hour plus each way. This is not the kind of lifestyle I would want but I realize that some folks will put up with lot, including being virtually handcuffed to the steering wheel, to have their slice of the low density suburban lifestyle.

Last edited by verybadgnome; 02-08-2010 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,003 posts, read 21,104,600 times
Reputation: 11909
True. Just as some people will put up with being piled right on top of each other cheek to jowl in order to avoid driving.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
680 posts, read 732,289 times
Reputation: 488
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepstein View Post
This "Worst of...." List details the 75 WORST commutes in all of the United States. And out of 75 rankings, I35 in Austin gets slot 4!! Yeah Austin.

So for those of you slowly driving down I35 tomorrow morning, at least you can take comfort in the fact that other people know you are suffering.
Not only is it a horrible commute because of traffic, it's also one of the most dangerous stretches of urban driving in the country. A truly nightmarish freeway design that didn't even pass the smell test when it was originally built. They had to re-design the "onramps of death" on the lower deck but they're still pretty bad.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:17 AM
 
448 posts, read 445,611 times
Reputation: 267
I'm so glad I never touch I-35 anymore. I do use Mopac heading south sometimes in the evening, which is usually not too bad.

To solve the transportation issue, you have to think outside the box a little. There may be solutions, but they may seem a little odd at first. Don't fear change, analyze it and take the time to really imagine how it might work.

Imagine how many cars would leave the road (those drivers switching to bike commuting) if there was a dedicated 'bike only' highway through the city? (think elevated). I myself, am on the fence with bike commuting, and if I could get to downtown from up north here, with only a couple stops and essentially no hills, no fighting cars, etc etc, then there would be no question I would bike to commute. 65% of would-be-bike-commuters don't because it's too dangerous in their opinion.

Another "if you build it, they will come." And they will come from the congested car roads.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Broomfield, CO
1,448 posts, read 1,644,874 times
Reputation: 851
There are no plans to do anything with I-35 in the Austin area. The congestion will continue to get worse and cause major delays for more hours during each day. Massive freeway expansions requiring large amounts of additional ROW do and have taken place in many other cities across the nation. T-Rex project in Denver, Katy Freeway in Houston, I-215 in Salt Lake City (prior to Olympics), I-410 in San Antonio, I-435 in South KC Metro area. First and foremost, cities must care about congestion and not catering to only the rich. Secondly, cities must have a "progressive" attitude toward smart growth and efficiency. Thirdly, cities must have the available funding to make the changes. The city of Austin has none of that, and never will.

If growth continues in this area as it has over the past 15 years (which I doubt it will), you can probably count on I-35 through downtown Austin to be clogged with traffic nearly 24 hours a day by the year 2025.


Quote:
Originally Posted by veloman777 View Post
I'm so glad I never touch I-35 anymore. I do use Mopac heading south sometimes in the evening, which is usually not too bad.

To solve the transportation issue, you have to think outside the box a little. There may be solutions, but they may seem a little odd at first. Don't fear change, analyze it and take the time to really imagine how it might work.

Imagine how many cars would leave the road (those drivers switching to bike commuting) if there was a dedicated 'bike only' highway through the city? (think elevated). I myself, am on the fence with bike commuting, and if I could get to downtown from up north here, with only a couple stops and essentially no hills, no fighting cars, etc etc, then there would be no question I would bike to commute. 65% of would-be-bike-commuters don't because it's too dangerous in their opinion.

Another "if you build it, they will come." And they will come from the congested car roads.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:48 PM
 
448 posts, read 445,611 times
Reputation: 267
I spoke too soon. The last two times I drove down Mopac this week, it was clogged up. I thought I was safe since there "shouldn't" be too much traffic heading south at 7pm, but there often is. It's still not as bad as 35.

There are so many problems with trying to solve the car traffic issue by expanding roadways. Studies show that more highways do help traffic short term, but then people end up driving more because they can easily, and we're back to square one.

When you're talking about numbers this large (population of drivers using Austin roads and highways each day) within such an area of this size - the only conclusion you can come to is the problems are the cars, and at certain areas, poor roadway design (think I-35). There is not suppose to be a limitless capacity on our highways.

That's why we need options, other transportation alternatives for commuting. It seems most people believe all (nearly) the money should go to improving car infrastructure.
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