As a life-long Austinite, I've got reservations talking bad about my town. As a local commuter though, all I have to say are bad things. With 158 people moving to Austin every day, the traffic situation is horrid. Public transportation almost completely relies on busses, taxis and pedicabs. All three congest the roads to a point where Tim Lomax, a traffic planning expert, calls the situation “awful”. In a recent study, Austin has learned that there needs to be a 40% decrease in car trips during rush hour for congestion to cease. This is completely impossible when our city council seems averse to drastic transportational change.
A massive subway system, monorail, and an unorthodox idea of Urban Cable are, in my opinion, the only way to decrease our car trips by the required 40%. In reality, Austin most likely needs a combination of all three transportation systems to succeed in traffic reduction.
I know I'm talking mostly about the sucky traffic of Austin, but it is the only thing that really ruins the city. Compared to when I was a child a 20 minute car rides now take upwards of an hour or more during rush hour. Any smart Austinite knows to not be near IH-35 between 3:30pm and 6:30pm. To have the major national highway unusable for three hours a day really puts our problems in perspective. [Via]