How can Austin reduce its traffic congestion? Don’t drive alone to work, officials say

About 75 percent of commuters drive alone to work during peak periods, Mayor Steve Adler said.

About 75 percent of commuters drive alone to work during peak periods, Mayor Steve Adler said.

Austin has topped many “best of” lists for a variety of reasons, but it also tops the list as one of the most congested cities in the U.S.

“That is going to choke out our opportunity to succeed and maintain this city as the kind of city that we want it to be,” Mayor Steve Adler said. “But there is still time for us to fix this.”

Adler addressed mobility this morning during his second annual mobility breakfast, at which he encouraged companies to work with their employees to reduce the 75 percent of Austin-area residents who commute alone during peak periods. He said companies could do their part by reducing their employees’ drive-alone commutes by 20 percent.

“If one day a week everybody would travel in the nonpeak time, travel in someone else’s car or take the bus or train that the reduction would have us with free flow traffic on our highways, on MoPac and I-35,” he said.

He cited Austin Don’t Rush Day in March during President Barack Obama’s visit during the South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals as an example of this happening.

Movability Austin, which provides tools and training to companies to find alternative commute options for employees, is helping companies achieve this 20 percent goal. These options include carpooling, telecommuting, flexible work schedules and ridesharing.

Companies that have pledged to work toward that 20 percent reduction include AMD, Austin ISD, Bazaarvoice, the city of Austin, HomeAway, Samsung and Travis County. Movability Austin is seeking 20 new companies to commit to the pledge for 2017.

See what companies have to say about participating in the 20 percent challenge:

“We can have happier and healthier employees, and we can have mobility-related networking opportunities that let us all talk about it and recognize what we can do together to have an impact now. … For employees it means more control over our most valuable commodity—our time. It gives us the ability to have a less stressful day every single day.”

—Jim Pledger, law firm Jackson Walker LLP partner and chairman of the Movability Austin board of directors




“Our mobility program, though relatively new, now includes flexible work schedules, telecommuting, support for ride sharing and public transit for 650 employees as they travel to and from about 25 locations in the community. … It’s been critical to change the way we think about our work days in order to ensure both our employees and our [credit union] members have a greater experience. Happy employees make for happy members.”

—Tony Budet, University Federal Credit Union president and CEO




“We’re facing competition for talent. We want to attract and retain the best people. Workers comp insurance is not exactly the sexiest environment to work in, and we’re never going to have happy hour Fridays. We wanted to make it a [place] where people wanted to work, and we saw these mobility solutions as really a way to help take care of our employees.”

—Jeremiah Bentley, Texas Mutual Insurance Co. senior manager of marketing and community affairs
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

The Atlas 14 rainfall study found Austin to be at a much higher flood risk than previously understood.
Acknowledging expanded risk, Austin moves to prohibit additional density in city’s flood-prone areas

A recent federal flood risk study found Austin's flood risk to be significantly higher than previously understood.

The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be named after current Travis County Constable George Morales III. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dove Springs Recreation Center could be renamed after Constable George Morales

The Dove Springs Recreation Center could be renamed after Constable George Morales, although some residents oppose changing the park's name at all.

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council green lights $8 million Rodeway Inn plan for homeless shelter transition, vows to address crime in the area

South Austin neighbors raised concerns that criminal activity in the area will put homeless individuals who enter the shelter at risk.

New Brightway insurance office opens in South Austin

Brightway, The Trusted Agency opened a new office in late October.

Marucci Clubhouse baseball facility opens in Southwest Austin

Marucci Clubhouse opened its new Southwest Austin location in October.

Lady Bird Lake at Congress Avenue in Austin. Since late July, parts of the lake have been off limits due to high concentrations of toxic "blue-green" algae. (Courtesy Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)
Toxic algae blooms are becoming more common, scientists say

Months have passed, but the capital city still has signs up warning of ongoing dangerous conditions in Lady Bird Lake.

Community members examine updated zoning maps at land development code town hall in October.
Land development code rewrite heads to City Council for final approval, marking home stretch of nearly 7-year process

Austin's long-awaited land development code rewrite is heading to City Council for final approval.

Crews work on updating a section of I-35 in Central Texas (Courtesy TxDOT)
Central Texas transportation agencies investing millions in I-35 for new lanes, intersection improvements aimed at aiding mobility

About 20 miles of I-35 through Central Texas will see an infusion of $400 million in state and federal funding to add one to two additional lanes in an effort to improve mobility.

Sage Blossom Massage's new Oak Hill location features a salt room. Courtesy Sage Blossom Massage
Sage Blossom Massage now open in Oak Hill

Sage Blossom Massage's new Oak Hill location at 6705 W. Hwy. 290, Austin, opened in early October. Sage …

A photo of the Dripping Springs City Council.
Dripping Springs City Council opts for partial refund to Mark Black in wedding venue fee dispute

Dripping Springs City Council voted Nov. 12 to refund $2,121 of Mark Black's $12,800 request.

Delia Garza speaks to her constituents at a town hall meeting in 2017.
Austin Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza says she will not seek re-election as Travis County attorney rumors heat up

Austin's mayor pro tem will not seek reelection to her Southeast Austin district seat in 2020.

Deece Eckstein at the Nov. 12 Travis County Commissioners Court meeting
Travis County intergovernmental relations officer announces retirement, triggers "aggressive" hiring schedule

Deece Eckstein, Travis County's inaugural intergovernmental relations officer, will retire at the end of the year.

Back to top