As Mayor Adler says, “Everything we try won’t work. But that’s okay. This is Austin, Texas, and we try things.”
The biggest, and most recent, change to Austin’s transportation system has been the introduction and removal of Uber and Lyft. In theory, these services would take passengers to and from high-traffic destinations. However, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight tells a different story. Instead of reducing traffic, for-hire drivers flood busy areas like Downtown and Sixth St, making congestion much worse. The effect on traffic has yet to be seen, but a shift back to public transportation would be good for the city’s traffic plans.
So what can be done about Austin's traffic?
Widening the 35 has been pitched time and again, but displacing all the businesses and university buildings alongside the freeway would cause an uproar -- you try telling UT that they need to move their $4 million stadium. I’ll be watching from the safety of my sky gondola. And some believe that by adding more lanes, we’d just be adding more congestion as the 35 becomes the most attractive option in town.