Austin's Busiest Traffic Days

What are the busiest days on Austin’s roads? Where is everyone going?

The day with the highest total volume (total cars counted) at each radar sensor

The Austin Transportation Department has live updating radar traffic counts at stations across the city. The data goes back almost a year now, so I decided to find the days with the most traffic at each sensor. Please note that higher volumes doesn’t necessarily mean higher congestion.

ACL’s impact on traffic at south end of Loop 360 near Zilker Park

It is interesting to note that every sensor’s busiest day was on a Friday.

These Fridays usually happened right before a large event like Austin City Limits music fest (10/6/17 & 10/13/17), SXSW (3/16/18 & 3/23/18), and ROT rally (6/8/18).

The usually high weekday traffic combined with event traffic that continues late into the day combines to create hectic conditions late into the evening.

ACL’s impact on traffic along Cesar Chavez across from Zilker Park

This isn’t meant to motivate resistance to these great events around Austin, but event planners should manage expectations for traffic especially around event venues. This should also include promoting working from home.

These events should also focus more on how exactly their attendees are going to get to their event. A web page with a link to google maps isn’t particularly helpful for those who are hoping to bike, walk, or take transit. Organizers should also be realistic about parking availability near the event to prevent attendees from circling the area looking for parking. A reliable shuttle service with specific instructions can also limit the traffic near the site.

We should all just remain patient, or just take the Friday off.


Written on August 10, 2018