AUSTIN – Austin’s traffic problem is nothing new, but an audit found the city could be doing more with the resources it has.

Driver satisfaction dropped from 27 percent in 2012 to 17 percent last year, which is less than half the score Fort Worth and San Antonio drivers gave their cities. Those drivers rated their “satisfaction with ‘[t]raffic flow on major city streets’” at 36 and 43 percent, repectively.

City auditors found the Austin Transportation Department operates in a silo approach, instead of coordinating with itself and other departments. Auditors also flagged the department for not using crash information to improve traffic safety.

"While the number of reported crashes has remained somewhat consistent, traffic‐related fatalities have increased in the past four years," the audit said. "The majority of fatalities have preventable contributing factors including impairment, distraction, speeding, invalid licenses, and pedestrian issues."

Department Director Rob Spillar said changes are underway.

"We know that the transportation portfolio is spread out over five departments," he said. "We know we need to a better job of bringing those folks together."

Spillar said the high number of road construction projects could be the reason driver satisfaction is so low. If that’s the case, he expects the low rating to persist.

Read the full audit here.


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