While I-35 crawls, other Thanksgiving travel routes may save time

Traffic on IH-35 near downtown Austin. (KXAN Photo/Tom Rapp)
Traffic on IH-35 near downtown Austin. (KXAN Photo/Tom Rapp)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — AAA said they plan on assisting 360,000 travelers across the country in need of roadside assistance during the Thanksgiving weekend. Some of those will likely be for the more than 3 million Texans hitting the highways.

“With all this traffic on the roadway, you really want to map out the best way to go,” said AAA spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Even if you have to go a little bit out of the way, it may be worth it in the long haul if you are waiting in less traffic.”

Kyrstie Barber is traveling to Baton Rouge from Round Rock and already knows how to save herself some time.

“When I drive on I-35, it is usually between a complete stop and 30 mph. The slowest I went on State Highway 130 was 60 mph,” she said.

As the rush hour and holiday traffic brought I-35 to a crawl on Wednesday afternoon, SH 130 was still flowing on the east side of Austin. Barber said she often uses the highway even when driving to work.

“It does not seem to me people are using it any more often. I think the toll deters people but it is totally worth it.”

During the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there were 94 crashes on Austin roads resulting in one fatality and two serious injuries. For the entire year of 2015, fatalities in Austin are up nearly 60 percent. The number one cause of the fatalities is impairment according to Austin Police, followed by speed.

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