Everyone loves to talk about how bad Austin Traffic is, but how does Austin stack up to other traffic-snarled cities? The Austin Business Journal reports on how Austin measures up.
The study by The Auto Insurance Center found that most Americans lose 42 hours a year stuck in traffic commuting to work. That’s full workweek every year and ten months over the course of a career! That’s a lot of time spent staring at the bumper in front of you.
As far as congestion in Texas, Houston has the worst traffic in the state and ranks number six in the country. Dallas-Fort Worth takes the number two spot in the state and number eleven in the country.
Austin is third in the state and twentieth in the United States for traffic. The average commuter here loses $1,159 annually in wasted time and gas trying to get to and from work.
The honor of worst traffic in the country belongs to Washington, D.C. The city with the best commute? Turlock, California. In Texas, Galveston has the 19th best commute in the country in terms of expenses and the best in the state.
Some other interesting tidbits from the study? 86 percent of Americans commute to work by automobile every day with 75% of those drivers commuting alone. The typical commute is 25.7 minutes and drivers waste nineteen gallons of gas annually sitting in traffic.
All this sitting in traffic can have serious health effects. CNN reports that a longer commute can contribute to weight gain, cause neck and back pain, have a detrimental effect on your mental well-being, increase anxiety, and expose you to more pollution.
So now that you know it’s expensive and bad for your health, how can you avoid Austin traffic? There are several ways you can try to cut down on a painful commute, starting with where you center your apartment search.
When it’s time to find a place to live, start your search in neighborhoods near where you work. If you work in downtown Austin and find the area too expensive, look for nearby neighborhoods that are priced more affordably like East Riverside-Oltorf, Travis Heights, or Southeast Austin.
Conversely, if you’re looking for a new job, consider your commute when it comes time to search. If that dream job is on the other side of town, it may not be much of a dream if you have to spend two hours a day in traffic to get to it and back home.
Look for apartments and employers that are easily accessed by public transportation such as the Capital Metro bus or Metro Rail. Even if your employer or apartment isn’t directly on the route, think about whether you can walk a little farther, ride a bike, or drive a short distance and park and still be able to use public transportation.
Consider a reverse commute. This is when you work opposite the flow of traffic and so you can get to and from work easily. As Austin gets larger, it’s increasingly difficult to find a route that has a reverse commute, but by examining traffic flow, you can still often find a route that will save you time.
Talk to your employer about working from home a few days a week. Depending on what your job is, you may actually find yourself getting more work done away from the distraction of the office.
If your employer isn’t quite ready to have you work from home, see if they might consider shifting your day in the office so it doesn’t involve commuting during rush hour. Perhaps you could work from 7am to 4pm or 10am to 7pm. Sometimes even a 30 minute shift in your day will shorten your commute by a substantial amount.
There are lots of creative ways to limit your time in traffic, from adjusting your work day to changing where you live or work. If you’re ready to cut your commute with a move to a new apartment, give Apartment Experts a call today at 512-339-4411 to take advantage of our expert knowledge of areas in Austin, rents, and vacancies.