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Survey says... Traffic still Austin's #1 problem

Traffic is the number one problem for people in Austin according to a new survey. It's not a new problem, but the area's booming population is giving it new urgency. (CBS Austin)

Traffic is the number one problem for people in Austin according to a new survey. It's not a new problem, but the area's booming population is giving it new urgency.

North Mopac is still waiting for completion of its new toll express lanes to see what kind of improvement this will make to the traffic flow. But this is just one trouble spot in an issue that is so widespread Austin has voted traffic its number one problem.

It seems fitting to talk about Austin's problems someplace where we can barely be heard above our number one challenge. Austin Mayor Steve Adler said at the outdoor news conference announcing the survey results, “The challenges that we face are not blocking out what it is that we love about this city. but we have to be mindful of those challenges and start working toward them."

Yes, traffic continues to be a big problem in Austin these days, and the man behind the Zandan Poll says his numbers bear it out. Peter Zandan says, “I think everyone would agree it's traffic. It's overwhelming. I mean everyone every year... I've been doing this since the 90s... complains about traffic. In fact, we've been complaining about traffic since the 80s."

The survey results came just hours before the Austin City Council re-upped with Capital Metro's Smart Trips program. Capital Metro Communications Specialist Mariette Hummel explains, “This program is aimed to put it at the forefront of people's minds to try a different mode of transportation."

In other words, to get people to at least *think* about leaving their cars at home. Hummel adds, “We know that instead of moving more cars, we need to think about how to move people."

And CapMetro has plans to make that move easier. Soon its MetroRail service will run more often and its MetroRapid buses will run longer hours eventually going 24 hours.

It's been fact-checked that Austin's population doubles every 25 years. Just imagine what our traffic will be like when Austin's population doubles again.

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