Austin ranks 13th for worst traffic in the U.S.

Austin and traffic.  The two words have unfortunately become pretty good friends over the years.

As Austinite Ben Hummel points out, a lot of people like to say traffic is so bad where they live, but he's hung his hat in cities all over the country and Austin takes the cake.

"I've lived in parts of New York, parts of Tennessee and it was you know...they're all bad in their own ways but I think Austin is more of a consistent bottleneck than I'm used to," Hummel said.

According to the new Global Traffic Scorecard from traffic analytics firm INRIX, Austin is ranked 13th in the country for congestion.  The average driver spent 47 peak hours in traffic which cost that driver more than $1,400 bucks.

Thankfully we didn't crack the top 10 but don't feel better just yet.  Out of the more than 1,000 cities studied around the globe, Austin ranks 42nd.

According to INRIX, I-35 from Airport Blvd to East Slaughter is ranked the 6th most congested corridor in the United States.  63 hours wasted in traffic.

So what do we do?

Amy Peck with Capital Metro says they're about to start getting public input on Project Connect, a long-term vision of how to improve transit and transportation into a system that gets people into and out of the Austin area.

During a media roundtable on Tuesday the word "gondola" was brought up.  It always seems to bring a smile to people's faces but that's how desperate Austinites are for a solution.

"There's a lot of outside of the box ideas.  We're looking at a variety of different modes and transit, innovations and everything to meet the need and the demand in Central Texas.  However I will say that it is way too early for us to be talking modes," Peck said.

And what about that $720 million mobility bond that passed in November?

Mike Trimble with the city's Corridor Program Implementation Office says a roll-out plan is coming.  Smaller projects like sidewalks will come first and corridors soon after.

"We're planning on coming to council next week February 28th at the work session.  And we're going to do a presentation about the implementation plans and some of the strategies of how we're going to get this work done over the next 8 years," Trimble said.  "It's a top priority for us as a city to address.  And so with these projects we'll be looking to address congestion issues, we'll be looking to address improved mobility across multiple modes of transportation."

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