It’s Monday, time to wipe the dust from our eyes and the SXSW party from our spirits and get on with the week. But as it’s nearing the time for the commute home, it’s a good chance to reflect on just how glorious the lack of traffic was on Friday afternoon. Social media reactions to the traffic made for great entertainment, as seen in this piece by KUT, but this lesson has potential to offer a lot more than just a few laughs.
President Obama’s impact was definitely well planned for, and though people initially were not happy about the prospect of increased traffic, Mayor Steve Adler’s efforts to keep people off of the streets really seemed to pay off as many Austinites reported the highly unusual lightness of Friday afternoon traffic.
Friday afternoon traffic in #Austin, TX. Nothing. This is crazy. #sxsw #POTUSinATX #austintraffic #ATXtraffic pic.twitter.com/gdWEPpoE4l
— Becky Squyres (@BeckySquyres) March 11, 2016
So ironically today was probably the best #AustinTraffic I’ve ever seen. Funny what taking cars off the road and no exits to DT can do #SXSW
— Andrew Of… (@andrewofaustin) March 12, 2016
Mayor Adler may just be onto something here, and local employers should really take notice. Giving employees opportunities to work from home or stagger schedules, even just a few days a week, can have a big impact on Austin traffic. As Obama said in his SXSW speech on Friday, a lot of the change that we need for the future comes at the intersection of the government, the individual, and the private sector. Government can’t always fix all of our issues, but working together on innovative solutions is everyone’s responsibility.