Lifestyle Solution Sought for Austin's Snarled Traffic

Austin has a giant traffic tangle on its hands. And because the city largely ignored the growing problem for years, transportation planning experts believe only drastic changes in behavior and lifestyle will ease the snarl.
December 17, 2013, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Like many of Texas's large cities, Austin has experienced a steep growth trajectory for decades. Unfortunately, it's investment in infrastructure has not kept pace. 

"While Austin fiddled decade after decade, Dallas was busy building the largest light rail system in the country," observes Wade Goodwyn. "Thirty years later, the Texas city with the conservative reputation has the regional mass transit network, not Austin. Austin has done practically nothing in that regard."

A toll road built to the east of the city failed to ease the problem. "So now, the state is considering tolling Interstate 35 and making the toll road free — as well as building a light-rail system and putting in more bike lanes."

"But [transportation planning expert Tim] Lomax says his computer models show the only real solution is going to involve changes in behavior and lifestyle."

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Published on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 in NPR
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