City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Percent of Residents "Satisfied" or "Very Satisfied" with Traffic Flow on Major Streets

Measure Description
This measure is a key indicator taken from the annual City of Austin Community Survey. The objective of this survey is to have a useable tool to assist in decision making by providing information on residents’ perceptions, opinions, and usage of specific City divisions and services. A stratified random sample of households in the City is used as a representative sample of the general population of Austin.
Calculation Method
This measure is the sum of “very satisfied” and “satisfied” responses divided by the total number of respondents who reported an opinion. The measure excludes those who left the question blank or reported “I don’t know”.  
FY 2014-15 Results
Satisfaction with traffic flow decreased to 17%, and remains below the stated goal of 29%, which is one percent below the national satisfaction average for large cities (population ≥ 500,000).
Assessment of Results
Resident satisfaction with traffic flow on major streets in Austin remains low and continues to trend downward. The primary reasons for this trend are likely due in part to the following:  
  • Austin’s immense population growth brings more travel on major streets and consequently, more congestion.
  • The results from the annual City of Austin Community Survey suggest that when residents respond to the question about flow on major streets, they are not thinking of signalized arterials (those streets typically within the purview of ATD) but rather the area’s highways.
  • Redevelopment projects are occurring throughout Austin with many projects adjacent to major streets. These projects typically require lane closures to safely facilitate construction and utility improvements. Although ATD works with developers to minimize lane closure impacts, those traveling on major streets still experience the related congestion.
  • Roughly 100 special events occur each year in downtown Austin. These events require lane closures and generate substantial pedestrian volumes along major streets.
Picture of the Capitol building, with traffic and traffic signal in the foreground
Next Steps
Reversing the downward trend in citizen satisfaction with traffic flow is a multi-agency issue. ATD is working with regional transportation providers to make travel time and reliability improvements on the regional freeway and highway network. ATD also continues to work with regional partners to add high-capacity transit in Austin and to examine how key corridors can be enhanced for all modes of travel. In addition to working with transportation partners, ATD is actively implementing many strategies to improve traffic flow, such as the Annual Retiming Program, an Adaptive Signal Control pilot project, lane closure notification procedures, the Transportation Management Center expansion, and the City Manager’s Traffic Congestion Action Plan (Don’t Block the Box and Vision Zero Safety Plan).
Contact Information
For more information contact Robert Spillar, P.E., Transportation Director at (512) 974-2488.