Traffic, crowds flood into downtown for F1 weekend - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Traffic, crowds flood into downtown for F1 weekend

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Before the sun came up Friday morning, F1 fans were in line at the shuttle site near 15th Street and Trinity to head out to Circuit of the Americas.

"I'll be first in line tomorrow, next day too," said John Foster, who came to Austin from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

As shuttle busses loaded up with passengers, traffic slowed. That's what officials at the emergency operations center are keeping an eye on. They're monitoring multiple angles of traffic going to and from the track.

"We've got close to 120,000 spectators who are coming to Austin to watch the race. We've got a lot from the region coming to participate in the festivals and concerts and so it's really important that all hands be on deck, not just form the city, but the county and public transportation agency," said Rodney Gonzales with the City's Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office.

A bird's-eye view of downtown shows the set up for the Austin Fan Fest, a free three-day music festival and F1-themed block party that runs through Sunday.

LINK: F1 Weekend Guide.

"This is kind of like a dream of mine, it's on my bucket list to be at a formula one race and here we are," says Nicholas Rodriguez who's visiting from Orlando. Many other fans traveled from much further away.

When asked about Austin, Marco Oswald who's visiting from Switzerland, said "Very good, exciting and we have a lot of fun when we're visiting Formula One races."

Finn Nystad, who's from Norway, said, "Very nice, cozy, small. We've done Shanghai, Singapore, all over Europe."

Local residents are also checking things out. Cedar Park resident Steven Horn took the day off to avoid the evening traffic, but he wanted his son to see the cars parked downtown.

"Hopefully it will bring some money to the city. I'm not too excited about the traffic and the crowds, but we need the income," Horn said.

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