Was your commute today an interminable nightmare of slow-moving misery? Well, count your blessings. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s annual list of most congested highways in the Lone Star State, San Antonio doesn’t have it so bad, at least when compared to the other big cities in the Texas Triangle: Dallas, Houston and “too big for his britches” Austin.
The most congested area in San Antonio is, unsurprisingly, the warehouse-lined stretch of I-35 where Loop 410 joins the interstate before branching off again, that area between Walzem and Rittiman that serves as an artery for 18-wheelers. According to the Transporation Intitute’s data, over 450,000 gallon of excess fuel is wasted by cars parked on that part of 35, and motorists spend nearly 247,000 hours annually stuck in traffic delays. But though that part of the interstate is often at a standstill, it only come in as number 40 on the congestion ranking.
The second and third most traffic-heavy areas of San Antonio were I-35 around downtown between Highway 281 and Highway 90 (#44), and Interstate 10 between Loop 1604 and 410 (#51), which as of late has been exacerbated by construction in the De Zavala area.
But by comparison, San Antonio drivers don’t have it so bad. The top spots are dominated by the slow-crawling freeways in the Dallas and Houston areas. Loop 610 in the Galleria area of Houston took the top spot, where a staggering 1.8 million hours of drivers lives are wasted with their foot on the brake pedal. Houston’s 610 overtook last year’s top ranking purgatorial traffic hellscape, the portion of I-35 that runs through central Austin. This year it came in at number two, a marked improvement.
So for any impatient San Antonio drivers out there that are about to blow a gasket, just remind yourself, how much worse it could be.