F1 in Austin
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- City of Austin, Cap Metro, ABIA Prepare for Formula 1
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- Austin Fan Fest Line-up Announced
- Multiple Big Events To Snarl Downtown Traffic This Weekend
- UT's 2013 Football Schedule Shows OSU Game During F1 Weekend Race
- Austin Airport Busy With F1 Attendee Departures
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- Central Texas Hotels Already Gearing Up For 2013 Formula One Race
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- Download F1 Road Closures Map
- Turning Laps In The Sky For Austin F1
- KEYE TV News Tests the F1 Shuttles For You
- 24 Hours Emergency Operations Center Open For F1 Weekend
- F1 Austin Fan Fest Begins Today
- Officials Make Final Austin F1 Traffic Plans
- Fan Fest Chaos Poses Challenges For Downtown Austin Businesses
- Austin Fan Fest Street Closures Continue
- Law Enforcement Offers Austin F1 Risk Assessment
- Formula 1 Track Shows Off Race Day Emergency Plan
- Cap Metro Makes F1 Backup Plans As Union Threatens Strike
- South Austin Neighborhoods Not Happy With F1 Helipads
- Austin Council Eyes F1 Helipad Code Changes After Neighborhood Outcry
- Austin Council Annexes F1 Race Track Land
- Bike Route Planned From Downtown Austin To Formula 1 Track
- Austin Formula 1 Racetrack Opens Saturday For Running Event
- Capital Metro To Provide Free Bus Service Around Downtown For F1 Weekend
- F1 Marks First Lap, Leaders to Discuss Preparedness
- Helipads Approved In South Austin For F1
- F1 Announces More Bands For Race Weekend
- Police, Nonprofits Bracing For Human Trafficking Increase
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- Austin F1 Transportation Plan Announced
- Austin Race Track Gets Green Light As Deadline Nears
- Pflugerville Wants To Study Impact Of F1
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- Condo Owners Wanting To Make Some Quick Cash Could Be Fined Thousands
- Festivals Planned During Austin's F1 Race Weekend
- Tens Of Thousands To Flock To Downtown Austin For F1 Grand Prix Events
- F1 Bringing Aerosmith To Austin During Race Weekend
- Texas Gov. Perry Promotes Austin F1 Race During Italy Trip
- Workers Needed For F1 Race
Officials Make Final Austin F1 Traffic Plans
Updated: Thursday, November 15 2012, 07:11 PM CST
Months in the making, Friday is when the Formula One traffic plan gets put to the test. Downtown could have competition for the most gridlocked spot in Austin, as thousands of race fans make their way to the Circuit of the Americas track for practice sessions ahead of Sunday’s race.
Steve Sexton, Circuit of the Americas president, said during a Thursday press conference that each day the track will see up to 120,000 fans, 17,000 cars, between 500-700 taxis, more than 500 shuttles, and more than 300 helicopters. Sexton says every single one of the shuttles will be in operation Friday, although he doesn’t know how many of the 115,000 three-day ticket holders will show up.
With a select few fans and hundreds of media and team crews filling the Circuit of the Americas track, Thursday was a warm-up lap before the real crowds this weekend.
"There will be things that will happen,” said Sexton. “Our job is to react to them, adjust."
Sexton says the track’s transportation plan for the estimated 120,000 fans is good to go, even after the recent Formula Run race created a bottleneck with just 5,000 fans. “The Formula Run event was a smaller event and did not have a transportation plan attached to it," said Sexton. “So they're two completely different animals."
Sexton says each mode of transportation will have a dedicated way in. "So we're maximizing the use of all the roadways coming in to even out that flow as much as possible.”
So while organizers are using essentially the same transportation playbook, Sexton says Thursday night crews are making final tweaks, changing signs to show major traffic changes, for example, the opening up of opposite lanes to ease traffic flow into and out of the track.
And officials say the factor most likely to impact traffic: what time fans decide to show up.
"We sent out an email blast this morning to all of our ticket holders reminding them please get there early."
As for nearby residents, those we talked to say they’re concerned they’ll be stuck at home.
“I think neighbors will definitely have access to their homes, we've promised them that,” said Sexton. “But that said, there'll be traffic."
On Thursday, track officials also announced a new iPhone app for the race, part of which covers transportation. Officials said all but 1,000 tickets had been sold as of Thursday.
Also headed to the track: between 4,000 to 5,000 employees.
By Adam Bennett
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