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Old 03-12-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
4,493 posts, read 10,182,339 times
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I'm amazed at the difference. I'm currently having to travel down 183 in the mornings from Anderson Mill to Burnet. Normally it's like a giant parking lot for that entire stretch but the last two days I zipped down 183 at normal speeds.

So, does everybody take vacation during spring break? But then, it's almost the same in the summer - the traffic thins out considerably. I've just never understood what changes that takes so many cars off the road. Theoretically, there shouldn't be a lot of traffic on the main arteries related to local schools but maybe I'm wrong. Do UT and the other local colleges have that big of an impact on the daily traffic?
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Austin TX
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I've noticed that too! I assume many parents take the week off work, and I guess there are a LOT of college students who aren't hitting the road per their usual routine, but WOW, what a change. It's BLISSFUL!
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Austin
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It's not necessarily that people are taking off work. It's that they're going into work at a different hour. They are no longer forced to leave at a certain time because of school starting and they might go earlier or later than they normally go.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park/NW Austin
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I can always tell when the schools are not in session because traffic moves so much faster on Parmer in the morning. It's amazing how much congestion forms around the McNeil/Parmer intersection just because of high school traffic.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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We have a noticeable reduction in employees this week, mainly ones with school age kids, so I think that is part of it - parents taking off for spring break with the kids. My wife is off most of this week and taking care of our child.

Also, FHW is right - letting people come and go on their own schedule (no school schedule) helps a lot. Think summertime traffic. Not sure if the time change doesn't impact the current traffic a bit, too.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:35 AM
 
Location: central Austin
7,234 posts, read 14,066,532 times
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It is still pretty heavy downtown and in central Austin due to SXSW but yes, no shuttle buses, 100, 000 students not going to class, many out of town (UT, SEU, Concordia, ACC, TX-State). This is "Texas Spring Break" week, the vast majority of districts and private schools in Texas take the same week off as spring break. So that is a lot of teachers and students not on the roads either -- and I think this is evident that the greatest impact seems to be out away from the center where the density of families is greater.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Austin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor Cal Wahine View Post
WOW, what a change. It's BLISSFUL!
It's like Austin, 30 years ago. I love it when we have that kind of day.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:17 AM
 
913 posts, read 1,080,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calel View Post
I can always tell when the schools are not in session because traffic moves so much faster on Parmer in the morning. It's amazing how much congestion forms around the McNeil/Parmer intersection just because of high school traffic.
Where I grew up, the busing distance was much closer (3/4 of a mile as opposed to 2 miles) and there was limited school parking for students - for seniors only.

It makes me wonder if the money we're saving in ISD taxes by not using buses for more kids is really worth the savings when it comes to traffic and gas wasted. It's surprising there isn't a push for an increased use of buses for school kids, since it's safer than walking in some cases and it's eco-friendly public transport. I'd certainly vote for it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:51 AM
 
227 posts, read 317,233 times
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I think all these answers are right, but also, often the difference between busy but flowing and gridlock is not really as much as we think. It's been a while since I read on it but, there are some thresholds where traffic slows very rapidly with relatively few cars added.

It's why sometimes leaving 5 minutes earlier can make such a huge difference...
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:51 AM
 
8,240 posts, read 15,868,245 times
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We're all out of town!
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