Wednesday afternoon, a day ahead of President Obama's visit to Austin, crews were busy posting "No Parking" signs around downtown. Those who work in the area, like Blake Potter, were getting word of Obama's trip and some of the security measures involved.
"We don't remember it being like this before because this isn't the first time the president's been in town, but this is the first time we've been warned of traditional closures," said Potter.
Through 6 p.m. Thursday, no on-street parking will be allowed from congress to I-35 and between 5th and 9th streets. Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. there will be no access to parking garages within that perimeter. Several streets will be closed including: Brazos from 6th to 9th, 7th from Congress to San Jacinto and 8th from Trinity to Congress.
About that, Potter stated, "It's a little concerning. We have a lot of coworkers with little kids and what if there's...It's just kind of baffling."
According to Austin Police, the decision to shut down the area to parking and traffic was made in response to a request from the Secret Service.
"The alternative is not do what we need to do to keep the President of the United States safe and so absolutely, I think one of the most important duties we have is to protect the institution," said APD Chief Art Acevedo.
He adds that there's no such thing as too cautious when it comes to the President.
"Safe rather than sorry is something I support. You have to understand the world we live in today, we've got issues going around, not just around the world, but our own country with extremism in terms of foreign extremists and homegrown extremists. The rhetoric is pretty sharp in our country and I am very comfortable knowing what the threat picture is around the nation and the world, with taking whatever precautions to keep the President safe."
But that will mean an inconvenience for many. "A lot of us will probably work from home tomorrow because we heard it's going to be so bad," said Karin Leclair, who works downtown. "I'm just going to try and avoid it."
Beginning at 11:00 AM until 4 PM the following streets will be closed to all traffic:
The following streets will be closed to all traffic from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM:
There will be no access to the garages located within the closures during this time. Officials say this will be strictly enforced.
Capital Metro service will be detoured in the area between 6th and 9th Streets and between Brazos and Trinity Streets. As a result, 14 routes will be detoured from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.
The detours might be altered or canceled as well.
Capital Metro will post signs at each affected bus stop to inform passengers about the detours and alternate stops. Specific detour information can be found online at CapMetro.org in the "Service Alerts" section or call the GO Line at 512-474-1200.
If road closures extend into the afternoon rush hour, the following routes will also be detoured: