City encourages commute changes on Austin’s most congested day of the year

Local News

Austin’s busiest traffic day of the year is coming up Friday, and instead of hitting the roads to get to work, the city is encouraging employers and employees to make other plans.

The city is recognizing March 9 as “ATX Detour Day,” because that’s when students leave for spring break while thousands of visitors start to descend on the city for South By Southwest. The city suggests people try another means of transportation, carpool or avoid driving altogether. In the last instance, people should talk to their employer about how to make that work.

“As our members have discovered, relatively small actions can make a big impact,” said Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel, the executive director of Movability Austin. “Even a slight percentage of commuters changing the way they travel makes a dent in congestion, and the benefits extend to individuals, employers and the region as a whole.”

Here are some ways the city suggests people switch up their routine Friday and the weeks of SXSW:

Change work times or locations

  • Work from home or somewhere not the office, like a coffee shop or a library
  • Work a non-traditional schedule to avoid rush hour
  • Work fewer days a week with more hours to avoid going into work on the most congested day

Try alternate transportation

  • Bike
  • Take public transit
  • Walk
  • Carpool, vanpool or bikepool

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