When it comes to traffic, Austin is the fourteenth most congested in the nation.
That is according to a report issued earlier this month by INRIX, a company that analyzes transportation issues. Wednesday, the City of Austin released a proposal on how to improve that ranking with almost a half billion dollars in bond money.
"We think it’s going to have a positive impact,” said Project Director Mike Trimble.
The Austin Motion 2016 Mobility Bond proposal targets nine areas in town.
They are located along North and South Lamar, Airport, Riverside, MLK, Guadalupe, Burnet. William Cannon, as well as Slaughter Lane. "This analysis is compared to, the “Do Nothing” scenario, so if we do nothing in these corridors, don’t make these improvements, obviously we know how the trends are going,” said Trimble.
The $482 million fix, Trimble believes, will pay off.
"Based on the potential investments we are looking on average, at an anticipated 25% reduction in vehicle delay along these corridors, and a 15% reduction in crashes,” said Trimble.
To put that 25% prediction into perspective, an hour in gridlock - may be reduced to 45 minutes.
The plan calls for 30 miles of paving projects, 120 traffic signal upgrades, including mid-block signals for pedestrians and smart lights to speed up bus routes. 40 miles of bike lanes, 30 intersection upgrades and 75 miles of ADA compliant sidewalks.
In a statement Mayor Steve Adler said:
"The Smart Corridor Plan is beginning to look like a Genius Corridor Plan."
People who we spoke to, had this to say, "More roads, less bike lanes."
"Definitely roads." And "Bike lanes are important, we've got to use more public transportation."
Some of the Bond money is going to be used to improve Loop 360, the Capitol of Texas Highway, the plan is to eliminate all the traffic signals out here. And while you may not see on that list a lot of projects that increase the number of traffic lanes in Austin, Trimble says new capacity is being added in a few of the proposed locations.
"But yeah over all we are not seeing a substantial amount especially for the corridors that are closer to the city core that’s mainly because those right of ways are pretty constrained,” said Trimble.
If the city council approves the mobility proposal- construction will not exactly be fast tracked. Design work on most of the projects is expected to take 2 to 3 years to complete.