AUSTIN (KXAN) — You may have noticed your commute is taking a little longer these days. That’s because Austin Transportation officials said traffic returned to its pre-pandemic levels as summer began.

They expect the traffic volume will continue to increase due to the city’s growth. Just last week, since students returned to the classroom, city transportation officials said there’s been a slight spike in traffic.

A spike is expected within the first couple of weeks as many return to their school year routine. The latest statistics show during the first week of school, the week of Aug. 19, travel times were 5% longer in the morning peak period, up 3% during the midday rush and 6% busier in the afternoon.

This is all when compared to pre-pandemic numbers from February 2020. However, officials said what’s different now in terms of traffic behaviors is when they see traffic on the road.

“Our midday volumes are higher than what they were before the pandemic,” said Brian Craig, an engineer with the Austin Transportation Department arterial management division. “In many ways, that just means traffic is being spread out throughout more of the day, and not just necessarily during the a.m. and the p.m. peak period.”

Officials said in order to keep traffic moving, they work to make sure traffic signals are timed correctly. Crews evaluate the signal timing at each traffic signal at least once every three years. During the pandemic that changed and became more frequent.

The city said drivers having issues with a traffic signal in their area or along their commute should call 311. Also, now students are back in school, the Austin Transportation Department wants to remind drivers to keep an eye out for pedestrian hybrid beacons near schools.