We know it. We see it. We breathe it. We live it. Austin traffic.
Other than aerial ridesharing (yes, it’s a thing – Hyundai announced it will make flying cars for Uber’s air taxi service; and Uber Copter already takes passengers on an 8-minute ride between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport for approximately $200), here are some tips from fellow moms on how they survive traffic.
- Stay home…or more realistically, use alternate modes of transportation (MetroRail, walk, bike). While this might not be feasible during the week, you could incorporate it into your weekend and for events like the Trail of Lights, ACL, and UT games. It’s also a great way to contribute to a cleaner city.
- Waze. It’s a favorite app.
- Opt for driving on frontage roads and “surf” the freeway: Exit, then re-enter the highway to make a bit of progress around traffic (know which exits and entrances work for this, especially those without stoplights).
- Audiobooks! Podcasts! Spotify! I borrow audio books from the library and through the Hoopla app, and have a phenomenal library of podcasts. The Key Jar has questions to ask your kids about their day, and are great conversation starters.
- Flexible commuting / staggered scheduling: Talk to your boss about working earlier/later hours to skip prime time traffic.
- If you don’t already work from home, propose to telecommute 1-2 days a week. Here are suggestions on how to propose a flexible work schedule to your boss.
- Use the toll and express lanes.
- Leave early. Lately I’ve put a pair of 5-pound weights, the paperback I’m reading, and my prayer journal in my car to maximize my waiting time.
- There’s beauty in wandering and getting to know Austin (making bullet number 8 (above) a must).
- Many of us don’t have the luxury to live in the same area where we work, but keep it in mind when choosing where to live. About seven years ago, we sacrificed 1,000 square feet and a backyard to be closer to work and school and I don’t regret it.
- Ask about shortcuts! My daughter plays volleyball in south Austin, and of course her practice starts at 5:30. In addition to leaving 45-minutes early, there’s also a secret cut-through my friend shared. It saves 25-minutes.
- Carpooling and ridesharing: Being able to take a break from traffic while your friend drives the kids one day a week is a life saver; and riding with someone can be a great time to reconnect.
I sure hope #8 means using these items (book and weights) at your arrival destination while waiting because you’re early, NOT while in the car sitting in traffic. Those would be distractions and can lead to a collision.
Really? Reading while driving is unsafe?
Love this list – I have a loooong work commute and swear by podcasts, audiobooks and even, *listening* to my fave YouTubers. Another favorite thing to do is catching up with friends and family on the phone (bluetooth to the rescue!).