Austin prepares for F1 crowd

Austin prepares for F1 crowd

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It's just over a month before 300,000 people are in Austin for the United States Grand Prix and the events that go along with it.

It will be unlike anything Austin has ever seen and everyone from Cap Metro to APD will be making changes to accommodate the crowds.

Downtown residents and business owners had a few questions for the city and other agencies about what Formula One will do to Austin.

"There are a lot of people myself included that don't understand what's going on here," said Austinite Alan Pease.

Pease is concerned about getting around town when 28 blocks of downtown Austin roads from MLK to 2nd Street will be closed, some as early as November 14, four days prior to the race.

"Transportation issues, parking issues, as we make the event larger and larger. I'm a big fan of F1. I totally support the track out in Elroy, but we've never done this as a city," said Pease.

It's those types of concerns the Austin Police Department says they are working on.

"We want to take care of all the traffic issues and safety issues related to this event so patrol can concentrate on other deals," said APD Commander William Manno.

Manno says 200 officers will be around along with a substation set up in downtown Austin. Many officers will also focus on roads leading to the race track and around the airport.

So far more than 100,000 tickets have been sold for the race. About 80 percent of those have been sold to out-of-towners. The city says that means big bucks for Austin.

"About 6.1 million in revenue. The bulk of that is for hotel occupancy tax we should receive about 4.1 million in hotel occupancy tax," said Rodney Gonzales with the City of Austin.

To keep all those visitors moving despite the road closures, which will affect 100 regular bus stops downtown, Cap Metro has a plan.

"We are going to have a special circulator bus that is going to go mostly around the downtown perimeter," said Francine Pares with Cap Metro.

The shuttle will travel from Cesar Chavez to 15th Street along Lavaca, Red River and San Jacinto. It will be free to everyone and will run every 15-20 minutes.

Also Metro Rail will run on the weekend through midnight including Sunday.

ABIA is also expecting an increased number of private airplanes and is now asking airplane owners to make a reservation for parking.

LINKS:

Road Closures

Cap Metro Routes

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