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
By Amy Denney
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and then senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition and covering transportation. She is now managing editor for the nine publications in the Central Texas area.


MOST RECENT

Early voting for the May 1 election opens April 19 at a 7 a.m. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early voting in Austin opens April 19: See what’s on the ballot, where to vote

City residents will be making decisions on eight propositions ranging from whether to adopt a strong mayor government system to whether to reinstate public camping bans.

Austin transportation officials said April 15 the range of corridor construction program projects initiated through the city's 2016 Mobility Bond remain on track for completion by late 2024. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Several Austin corridor mobility projects moving forward in 2021, program on track for 2024 completion

Transportation officials said some corridor program improvements previously planned along Guadalupe Street and East Riverside Drive are being reduced ahead of Project Connect expansions.

Jack Allen's Kitchen will be at 1345 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park. (Rendering courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
7 restaurants coming to Cedar Park, Leander; new murals to go up in Georgetown and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the Central Texas area from the past week.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Austin FC supporters celebrate the official announcement of the team in January 2019. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
How, where to watch historic first Austin FC match April 17

Check out this list of breweries, pubs and restaurants around Central Texas that are hosting watch parties for April 17's inaugural Austin FC game.

Z'Tejas' chorizo dumplings are served on the Arboretum location's porch. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Z'Tejas to open in Avery Ranch; butcher, deli to open in Dripping Springs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Maj. Vito Errico, left, and Maj. Jason Zuniga are co-directors of Army Futures Command's Software Factory, for which the first cohort of soldiers started in January. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
From a rifle to a keyboard: Army Futures Command opens Software Factory at downtown ACC campus

Twenty-five soldiers started in January as part of the Software Factory's first cohort. Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be at the Rio Grande campus for a ribbon-cutting April 15.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes leaders and Community First Village residents unveiled the planned third and fourth phases of the Austin development for the formerly homeless April 14. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin's Community First Village for the formerly homeless announces 127-acre, 1,400-home expansion

Officials with the community, which is intended for residents who have experienced chronic homelessness, said that two new expansion phases are expected to begin development in 2022.

Photo of a sign that says "Travis County"
Travis County establishes new emergency rental assistance program for 2021

The program will provide $10.7 million in aid to county residents struggling to pay rent due to the pandemic.

Plank Seafood Provisions opened inside The Domain in late March. (Courtesy Richard Casteel)
Seafood spot opens in The Domain; All Star Liquor now serving Georgetown and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.