City responds to increased traffic on Cesar Chavez

Those new toll lanes on MoPac are supposed to make traffic less congested, but city engineers say they're causing a new problem. Things are now backing up on Cesar Chavez -- the only option for drivers to get on the Express Lanes out of downtown.

AUSTIN - The new toll lanes on MoPac Express are supposed to make traffic less congested, but city engineers said they are causing a new problem.

Congestion is now increasing on Cesar Chavez Street -- the only roadway drivers have to get on the MoPac express lanes out of downtown.

"When people are trying to exit during the afternoon peak after work, they're spending a lot of time trying to get out of their garage and then they wait on Cesar as well,” said city traffic engineer Robin Osborne.

The city said it will be changing signal timing on Cesar Chavez to allow for more cars to move faster.

In addition, it will also consider changes to intersections and changes to lane assignments. City officials said they expected more traffic on Cesar Chavez after the toll lanes were built on MoPac, they just didn't how much more.

"We can't really put out plans blindly,” said Osborne. “So what we had to do is spend some time collecting data. We've done that for a couple weeks now. We've got all hands on deck working on some solutions that we're going to be implementing soon.”

The city said it expects to have plans in place for Cesar Chavez by the end of the year.

In the meantime, for drivers coming into downtown, they can take Fifth Street instead of Cesar Chavez from the express lanes.

For drivers on MoPac but not using the express lanes, the city said alternate routes to Cesar Chavez include Enfield Road and 24th Street.

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