Austin Traffic: How does it compare?

Posted by James Brinkman on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 1:37pm.

It certainly isn't uncommon to hear Austinites complain about the traffic they experience while traversing the city. But, according to a report recently released by the Texas Department of Transportation, Austin does not rank at the top of the list of congested traffic areas throughout the state. In fact, within its list of the top 100 most congested roadways in the State, downtown's Austin’s I-35 was ranked at number 26. Highways and interstates running through Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, on the other hand, were listed far ahead of Austin's I-35.

I-35 wasn't the only Austin highway to make the list. MoPac between US Highway 290 and US Highway 183 also made the list, ranking in at 44th. US183 from Mopac through to I-35 was also listed, coming in at 49.

In order to determine the rankings, the Texas DOT considered factor such as the number of hours commuters are delayed each mile as well as the annual cost these delays create per mile. Using their specialized formulas, the DOT determined that the stretch that runs between Ben White and US 183 on I-35 costs drivers a total of $3.1 million per mile each year.

Overall, the Texas DOT determined that the top five most congested areas to drive in Texas were:

•    I-45 in Houston - from State Loop 8 to I-610
•    US Highway 75 in Dallas - from I-635 to Woodall Rodgers Freeway
•    I-45 in Houston - from I-610 to I-10
•    I-635 in Dallas - from I-35E to US Highway 75
•    I-45 in Houston - from I-10 to I-610

According to a national traffic survey, Austin in general ranks as the 21st most congested city in terms of vehicle traffic. To determine its rankings, this survey mostly considered travel times. The top 6 cities with the worse congestion according to this list included:

•    Los Angeles
•    New York
•    Chicago
•    Washington, D.C.
•    Dallas
•    Houston


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