Traffic congestion is one of the worst aspects of living in Austin, yet our government officials continue the grossly inefficient utilization of our roads with an almost complete disregard for the time and fuel wasted every day by thousands of drivers. I have attempted contact with TXDOT and the city of Austin to propose several improvements which would result in immediate relief for all drivers without success. The office of council member Sherry Gallo recommended this site as a means of proposing my ideas.
The first suggestion involves repainting traffic lane markings at most major underpass intersections with adjacent feeder lanes to allow unobstructed flow for all traffic turning right and turning around in the u turn lane. The lane markings would prevent drivers from blocking the lanes while waiting to proceed straight through the intersection. The middle two lanes would show arrows for straight ahead and also allow respective left or right turns for those drivers who remained in those middle lanes unintentionally.
The second suggestion applies to major roads at peak hours of use. Highways 183 and 360 are perfect for this idea. During the morning and afternoon peak usage time periods, all intersections would have restrictions against traffic turning left as well as traffic crossing from the smaller road. The lights would blink yellow for the high traffic volume on 183 and 360 and blink red for the small volume intersecting road. U turns at every intersection will have protected rights of way. In many cases the existing left turn lanes are ideal for this new approach. This allows for an easy u turn for those denied left turn drivers to return to the intersection after driving ahead to the next intersection and make a right turn. This method allows the traffic flow to proceed without all the start and stop delays of the current sequenced intersection lights system. The main road drivers never need to stop.
The new pavement on 360 should have included marking a third lane on most of the road way, yet the lane paint was done for only two lanes. TXDOT should repaint the lane markings to allow legal use of the "shoulder" lane for regular traffic. They did this on a few sections of 183 near MLK and it is very well received.
I will send these ideas to our representatives and hope someone with authority will take action on our behalf. If another Austinite has a point of contact to recommend, please send me a note.