Navigating Austin

traffic jamI used to commute 42 miles in 40 minutes to the office and back everyday. On a snow day, I could easily add an hour, maybe even two, in a really severe storm. While Austin weather is a little more stable then the North East the population here is not. I still hear we have a net gain of 100+ people moving here a month. In addition, it’s always Sunday fun day in Austin with regular events bringing in visitors from all over the world for festivals, Circuit of the Americas (COTA), concerts and marathons. It is never a dull moment here. Construction projects are around every corner as well, lending to road closures, delays and detours.

Moving to Austin

Whether a buyer is moving to Austin, or simply moving to another area of Austin, I always encourage taking the time to do a ‘test drive’ during the week.

Weekday Traffic

Looking at homes on weekends is great, everyone is relaxed and we can see more homes in a short amount of time, because there are less cars on the road. Weekend tours can easily give a false impression of what a weekday commute with Austin traffic might look like. After all, drive times on Mopac and I-35 at 5pm on a Saturday when you are rolling, will be far different then when you are idling during the week.

Commuting in Austin

Now if it’s just impractical to take a day off of work to ‘test drive’ the morning and evening commute, at least leave work one day and head to your future living destination. If you don’t live in Austin, plan on spending a weekday here and do a mock commute. Taking the time to do your homework upfront, will amount to hours spent where you want them; not waiting to get where you’re going.

Virtual Driving

For tech-savvy consumers, many smart phones have apps like Google Maps and on-board GPS devices can also be helpful. No matter what technology you use, current traffic conditions are taken into account when the program is calculating the estimated travel time. You can often see where traffic is on the device and sometimes even why. Plugging the address into these devices when you would normally be doing the drive will help you estimate commuting times as well.