Signal light re-timing knocks minutes off Cesar Chavez Street commute

FILE - Red arrow on a traffic light. (KXAN File Photo/Chris Nelson)
FILE - Red arrow on a traffic light. (KXAN File Photo/Chris Nelson)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Re-timing signal lights along Cesar Chavez Street has shaved several minutes off the morning and evening commute.

The Austin Transportation Department re-timed the street from Interstate 35 to MoPac Expressway in early December to make up for the increased demand after the opening of the new MoPac express lanes.

Drivers going westbound between 7:15 and 9 a.m. are seeing two minutes taken off their commute — or a 25 percent shorter travel time on the road. Those going westbound in the evening, between 4-5 p.m. and 6-6:30 p.m. are also seeing two minutes taken off, a 20 percent reduction.

The biggest winners from the re-timing are drivers heading eastbound between 4:30-7 p.m. They’re getting a five minute shorter commute — a 30 percent reduction in their travel time.

To test the results, the department compared morning and evening peak travel times from a few days before the express lanes opened with the times after the signals were re-timed.

ATD will continue to make adjustments to optimize travel times along Cesar Chavez Street.

The department is trying to spread the message that increased demand on MoPac will also increase demand on the nearby transportation network, including Cesar Chavez. If you can take an alternate route during peak hours, ATD is encouraging you to do so.

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