Many people like to wait for a weekday, if they can, to move from one home or office to another, or to move items into or out of a Texas self storage unit. Self storage facilities and moving companies alike tend to be less busy on weekdays than they are on weekends. Be careful, though — do not make plans to move on a weekday to save yourself time, only to wind up getting snarled in rush hour or construction traffic.
To find up-to-the-minute information about construction-related traffic delays and rush hour traffic flow, try checking the city traffic website for the city you are moving into and the city you are moving out of. Most traffic websites include a list of recent traffic incidents and road closures, a construction report, and reports on the average speed at which highways are moving. Many also show the route maps and locations of transit centers and “park and ride” centers, which can be very useful if you are taking a bus to your local moving company before renting a moving truck.
Many traffic sites also are accessible via mobile phone.
Here are some of the most commonly used traffic and construction links to get you started:
– If you live near Houston, San Antonio, or El Paso, you can get your traffic information from a “smart highway” or Intelligent Transportation Site, which uses highway cameras to provide information about current travel times, lane closures, and traffic incidents. These sites also offer emergency information. In addition, Houston Transtar also has links to the Houston/Galveston Area National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, in case you are moving during the Atlantic hurricane season. The “Hurricane Information and Links” page even includes evacuation route maps. San Antonio’s TransGuide includes links to roadside assistance and the phone number for the Stranded Motorist Hotline. El Paso’s TransVista also includes a link to El Paso’s public transportation website, Sun Metro.
– DalTrans. The Dallas/Fort Worth traffic site is still in the beta stage, so you may have to be a little patient with it. You can discuss any problems that arise at the DFW Traffic Data Discussion Forum, a Google group. DalTrans does have close-up street maps of the downtown areas for Dallas and Fort Worth. It also has special pages set up for browsers that use KML (Keyhole Markup Language, like the files used by Google Earth), so that if you want to see DalTrans maps on your iPhone, for example, you can simply point it to the KML version of the site. You can get Arlington and Plano traffic information here too, or you can check the City of Arlington Traffic Update. Plano does not have a city traffic site, but Topix has a traffic site for Plano that includes current traffic incidents and a “jam factor” for each highway, indicating the average speed at current conditions and the level of congestion.
– Navteq Traffic.com (Austin). Austin does not yet have a dedicated city traffic site. But if you are willing to sign up for a free account, you can get the same information from Traffic.com. If you plan to make the same drive regularly, you can sign up to receive SMS or email alerts warning you when traffic will be particularly slow. If you prefer, you can view a list of traffic incidents at the Austin-Travis County Traffic Report Page. For road closures, go to Roadworks, which lists construction-related road closures, closures for special events, and county and state road closures.
– Corpus Christi’s traffic site offers little local information, but has a link to a county and state roadway database.
Good luck with your move, and — don’t get stuck in traffic.