Austin dubs itself the “Live Music Capital of the World.” A well-deserved title. An equally well-deserved moniker would be “Rubbernecking Capital of the World.”
Seriously. Austin traffic is dismal. Bad. Horrible. We suffer through long and much-delayed construction projects, restricted lanes, new tolls on well traveled routes, terrible rush hours, and endless debates on funding affordable, responsible mass transit.
In my humble opinion, we can help ourselves out for free by just NOT RUBBERNECKING. Come on, Austin! I’ve lived in and traveled through many different cities, but nowhere have I seen this level of self-induced misery.
Case in point: today we attended a beautiful Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of our friends. On the way home (1:30PM on a Saturday ), we popped onto Mopac North. Traffic was moving very slowly.
So, I looked at google maps to see what was going on. Yuck. Mopac was red for miles in both directions. Luckily for us, we were almost through the worst of it.
Hmm, was it a terrible accident up ahead? Overturned car? Lane closure? Jack-knifed trailer tractor? Police pulled someone over on the shoulder? A backup on the exit? Ambulance blocking lanes?
Ummmm. No. It was simply an open house and Muster Day at Camp Mabry – lots of brightly colored tents, military equipment and helicopters on display on the parade grounds of Camp Mabry, WAAAY off to the west of Mopac. But, sadly, it *is* visible from Mopac, if you just turn your head and hit the breaks to take it all in. And that’s what people were doing, in both directions. No amount of infrastructure funding is going to help that. Sigh.