Honking bad time
Even with kids learning remotely and most people working from home, it's still possible to pull onto a highway in the middle of the afternoon and be met with congestion.
In its annual Texas' Most Congested Roadways report, released December 1, Texas A&M Transportation Institute analyzed 1,800 sections of roadway, covering almost 10,000 miles in areas ranging from the wilds of West Texas to highly populated neighborhoods inside major cities.
To help come up with its rankings, TAMU also examined congestion by the number of extra hours of travel time (aka "delays") for commuters, how much fuel is wasted sitting in traffic, and how costly those delays actually are to the economy.
It's also important to note that this report reflects data from 2019, so any commute changes caused by the pandemic won't show up until next year's report, which TAMU Transportation Institute expects to look very different.
San Antonio-New Braunfels had 11 roadways show up in the top 100, the same number as 2019:
- McAllister Freeway from Stone Oak Parkway to Charles West Anderson Loop N (26th)
- I-35 from Charles West Anderson Loop to Connally Loop NE (29th)
- Connally Loop N from McAllister Freeway to McDermott Freeway (33rd)
- Charles West Anderson Loop from US 281 to McDermott Freeway (35th)
- I-35/PanAm Expressway from Staff Sergeant William J. Bordelon Freeway to Cleto Rodriguez Freeway (36th)
- I-35/North PanAm Expressway from Connally Loop E to Connolly Loop NE (40th)
- Connally Loop N from McAllister Freeway I-35/North PanAm Expressway (51st)
- Charles West Anderson Loop from McDermott Freeway to Braun Road (52nd)
- I-10 from Boerne Stage Road to Charles West Anderson Loop (74th)
- I-35 from Natural Bridge Caverns Road to Charles West Anderson Loop (77th)
- Connally Loop N from McDermott Freeway to Culebra Road (88th)
Surprisingly, though, San Antonio highways are not the most congested in Texas. Of all the four major metros, the Alamo City has the least number of roads in the top 100.
So who can claim the No. 1 spot? That distinction goes to a portion of Interstate 35 in Austin, particularly the stretch from 290 North to 71/Ben White Boulevard that cuts by downtown. (This is one spot up from 2019 when it was named the state's second most congested roadway.)
Though Austin's stretch of I-35 was first on the most congested list, Houston had six in the top 10 and 36 in the top 100 — the most of any city.