Mayor Adler wants '1983' traffic in Austin on May 11th

When President Obama announced he would be speaking in Austin on the first day of SXSW, Mayor Steve Adler predicted a "Carpocolpyse." 

So he encouraged anyone who could work from home that day to do it.

And...people listened.

For those that did have to be out in traffic...didn't find much traffic to be in!

The Mayor says MoPac saw a 60% reduction in travel times.  50% on 183.

"People were so happy.  It was apparent that my popularity was never higher," Adler said.  "There were people that said that they drove through downtown like it was 1983."

So the Mayor wants a repeat.  This time on May 11th.  He's calling it "Austin Don't Rush."  This time instead of just asking people to work from home, the Mayor is saying "don't rush."  Figure out a different work schedule, take a bus, take a train, take a bike...just do anything other than drive by yourself to work during peak hours.

"People have lots of options.  People can stagger their work hours, working with their employers.  Come in a little bit early, leave a little bit late.  Come in a little bit late and leave a little bit late.  But to avoid those peak hour times," Adler said.

Bridgette Stahlman can relate.  She works for Jackson Walker law firm.  She's a mom of 3 so her boss gave her a slightly different schedule.

"That's where we came up with the schedule where I would work two days until 2 so that I could pick up my kids at 2:45 and then one day I work from home.  So it's been very flexible and very advantageous for me," she said.

And on those days when she leaves early..."It takes me literally 6 minutes," she said.

Tyler Cota is a paralegal downtown.  He likes the "don't rush" idea.

"I'm on the same page.  Yeah absolutely," Cota said. 

Working from home is a "no go" for his job but the flex hours might work as long as his boss is on board.

"He's a reasonable man!  I'd like to think so, yeah," he said.

And for those who want to give public transportation a try: May 11th might be a good day.

"I am very pleased to announce that Capital Metro will make it as easy as possible to try transit on May 11th by offering all of its services for free that day," said Cap Metro's Francene Pares.

That applies to buses, rail, metro-rapid, you name it.  All day...for free.

The Mayor says he realizes not all employers and employees are going to be able to do this and that's fine.  But a lot of us can.

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