Texas A&M: Austin drivers wasted 52 hours in traffic last year

"Austin Traffic" --- two words we wish weren't put together so often.
   
Jace Deloney prefers to take the bus and not drive in this mess himself.
 
"I think riding the bus gives me freedom to not have to be stuck in congestion.  It allows me to do other things," he said.
 
Fox 7 had a Skype chat with Tim Lomax on Wednesday.  He's a research fellow with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute.  They put out the Urban Mobility Scorecard every couple of years. 
 
"A lot of job growth, a lot of population growth and unfortunately the down side of that is we're seeing a lot of traffic congestion," Lomax said.
 
Lomax says as far as time and money lost while stuck in traffic, D.C. ranks number one followed by L.A.  Austin ranks 12th this time.
 
In 2014, drivers lost an average of 52 hours on congested Austin roads and spent $1,159 bucks in extra fuel.
 
"The interesting part about Austin is that it's a much higher, much more congested area than its' population rank would lead you to think it would be," Lomax said.
 
Lomax says there's not just one solution to fix this.  He says we need more roads, better timed traffic signals and more transit.
 
"Make sure that you know if your boss will let you have flexible work hours or telecommute.  Ways that you can avoid being out on the road or in the transit system when everybody else is," Lomax said.
 
Erica Brennes is with Ride Scout -- that's a free app based in Austin that tells you different transportation options.
 
She says she hopes Austin starts thinking outside the box.
 
"Tries something new. that does something differently, that gets people out of driving their cars by themselves.  And you know makes transit cool, makes carpooling cool," Brennes said.
 
Deloney is not just your everyday bus rider, he says he was on the city's Urban Transportation Commission at one time so traffic is a passion of his.
 
He says he's not a fan of A&M's study but he does believe traffic is a big problem...and there are solutions.
 
"A lot of neighborhoods in Central Austin were not able to build housing and if we were able to do that, we could increase our access to the city and address some of our core mobility needs," Deloney said.
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