A recent survey conducted by the ETC Institute found that 45% of Austin's residents were not happy about the traffic flow on major streets. Yet, another study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University found that traffic may not be as big of an issue as many seem to believe.
According to the university's "Urban Mobility Report," Austin residents spent approximately 22.7 million hours on the road in 2007, which places it at 32 out of 90 metro areas in terms of traffic. This puts the city behind other Texas metro areas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, which ranked 5th. Houston came in the 9th place position on the list, while San Antonio ranked 27th.
In addition to determining the amount of time the drivers spent on the road, the researchers also calculated the amount of fuel drivers used. In Austin, drivers used about 15.6 million more gallons of fuel in 2007 than they would have had to use if there were no traffic delay. Therefore, congestion in the city cost motorists an additional $471 million in 2007.
The top five worst cities on the list were:
• Los Angeles, California
• New York city, New York
• Chicago, Illinois
• Atlanta, Georgia
• Miami, Florida
Among those cities that are approximately the same size as Austin, the least congested cities were Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York.