Even An 85 MPH Highway Can’t Fix Austin’s Traffic Tangle
Wayne Goodwyn, Dec. 17
Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation’s worst traffic congestion.
For years, the city has done little to address the growing problem. But most in the Texas capital now agree something has to change if Austin is to save what’s left of its quirky character.
The best way to experience Austin traffic may be from inside the police department’s new helicopter. Breathtaking in the late afternoon sunlight, the state Capitol and the University of Texas Tower glow like torches.
But tear your eyes away from the skyline to look down and – poof! There goes your pretty picture. Nearly everywhere you look, the roads are backed up with cars, pickup trucks and 18-wheelers crawling along.
Police officer Ryan Miller is up in the sky nearly every day, and he says he has seen Austin’s traffic grow exponentially worse during the past five years. Now, a large portion of the city’s inhabitants must plan their daily activities with the traffic in mind.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell, a native Austinite, says he’s watching automobile traffic slowly ruin his beautiful city.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.npr.org/2013/12/17/248757580/even-an-85-mph-highway-cant-fix-austins-traffic-tangle
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