Texas Traffic Officials’ Advice For I-35 Motorists: Stay Home

Telecommuting is cited as an option to lessen highway traffic, but a travel guide with the best times to use the artery is also provided.

The Texas Department of Transportation has crunched the numbers to figure out the best days for residents to work from home in an effort to curb traffic congestion along Interstate 35.

Those traveling on the main artery can attest the invariably nightmarish traffic along I-35 during peak travel periods — an experience made more harrowing by the abundance of big rigs along the stretch.

But while it may seem that traffic is always heavy along the artery, state transportation officials insist there are times of the day when traffic flows smoothly. In buttressing such assertions, officials have devised a traveling primer of sorts to advise motorists when drivers might want to avoid I-35 travel and, conversely, use the highway during times of less congestion.

The upshot:”Too much traffic, stay home.” That’s the headline to the Texas Department of Transportation in revealing their travel guide. Yes, state transportation officials have actually gotten to the point of advising motorists to remain at home in light of ever-increasing congestion on the key artery.

To that end: “For those who can telecommute, we’ve crunched the numbers to figure out the best days to work from home,” officials wrote. To wit:

  • “If you commute from the north, Thursdays are your best bet for telecommuting as there is more traffic on the highway and it can take up to 16% more time to get to work,” officials wrote.
  • “For those driving from south Austin and suburbs, Wednesdays and Thursdays are both good options to work from home. Driving on those days can take up to 9% more time to get to the office,” officials advised.
  • “If you are heading into work, the time you decide to leave the house can make a big difference,” according to the Texas Department of Transportation. “According to our data, if you are traveling on southbound I-35 between SH 45 North and downtown Austin, the best time to start your commute in the morning is between 7 and 7:20 a.m.”
  • The worst time to travel on I-35? 8 a.m. “The earlier time can shave more than 12 minutes off your commute,” officials assured.
  • As far as heading home, the best time to travel the reverse trip is between 4 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. on any given day, state officials said.
  • “For those commuters who are heading north on I-35 from SH 45 Southeast into downtown Austin, the best time to begin your commute is between 7 and 7:20 a.m.”
  • Conversely: “The worst time to start driving is between 7:40 a.m. and 8 a.m.,” state transportation officials wrote. In the evening, officials added, the best time to head home is between 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“No matter which direction you’re coming from, overall, the best day to commute to work is Monday when traffic is lighter,” officials added.

Far from throwing up their hands in frustration while trying to tame traffic, transportation officials suggested they are continually working to ameliorate congestion: “TxDOT continues to find ways to advance our management of the roadways,” officials asserted. “We work with teams of traffic analysts and data managers who employ the latest modeling technology using smart work zones to help us better serve our community.”

Yes, stay home if you can. But know that transportation officials are on the case, officials inferred: “We know that traveling on I-35 through Austin during peak periods is often delayed, and we continue to look for ways to improve the safety and mobility of your daily commute.”

Still, the message is clear: Avoid I-35 unless absolutely necessary, and adjust your travel time accordingly.


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