Drive times on I-35 expected to double by 2035

(KXAN File Photo)
(KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — By the year 2035, driving 18 miles on Interstate 35 between Round Rock and Austin could take two hours or longer.

This projection came out from a 2014 study by the Texas Transportation Institute. Their research also took into account improvements set by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. But this weekend the public can help decide the future of transit in the city.

It’s called Traffic Jam! A Mobility Solutions Workshop for Central Texans. The goal is to find ways to get cars off of I-35 or MoPac and onto public transit in places that don’t currently have it. Capital Metro has identified 31 corridors from north to south Austin that either don’t have service, or it is very limited. Several of the routes connect the growing east side of Austin with downtown. Capital Metro identified the routes by looking at prior studies.

“We know that the public is tired of studies at this point they want to see some action, so we pulled together studies that have already been completed in recent years and we’ve pulled those together for the public to prioritize,” says Amy Peck, Communications Specialist for CapMetro.

The workshop takes place Saturday at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler, Senator Kurt Watson, and Travis County Commissioner Judge Sarah Eckhardt will be there to hear the public’s feedback. This is all part of the city’s Project Connect that looks at future service.

After Saturday, Capital Metro will meet in the spring to decide which routes were considered the most popular from the workshop and then identify funding and a timeline of when transit could be added.

Capital Metro and city officials are encouraging not just city residents to attend, but also those living in Georgetown, Bastrop, and Buda to come with the goal of finding ways to connect those living outside the city limits with transportation that can bring them into the city.

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