Traffic troubles during big events - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Traffic troubles during big events

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Events, like the Austin Marathon, practically shut down parts of the city; turning into a big problem for drivers.

It's a waiting game for drivers when big events happen in Austin.
"I got off of I35 because it was so packed, thinking I'd take a shortcut and get on Congress. What's going on down here?" says Gale Scott, works Downtown.
"There's no where to go. Everything is coming to one lane. They should start it way back instead of right at the last minute combining the lanes together," says Karen Thomas, driver.
Many people we spoke with were stuck in their car for more than 30 minutes trying to get through Downtown.
Some ended up deciding to park far and walk.
"It's frustrating. All this traffic, you want to go somewhere and you want to get there on time but there's all this traffic. It sucks," says Kenneth Bruce, Driver.  
Between all agencies involved, there were more than 150 personnel managing traffic flow during the Austin Marathon.
"We had one collision that I know of but very minor damage. All-in-all it was very uneventful, which is what we like," says Sgt. Jeff Crawford, Austin Police Department.
During these type of events, transportation representatives and traffic engineers work to figure out the most efficient route for drivers.
There are still many challenges they face.
"Just trying to keep it flowing. You try to keep it where folks have access to the east side if they are trying to go west of the marathon route. The runners and pedestrians are a huge safety concern. Anytime you mix cars and folks on foot, it can get dangerous."
At that point, APD looks to see what areas need to be patrolled.
Downtown normally has the most congestion because of limited roadways.
During February of 2013 the city issued 8 event permits Downtown, shutting down several streets.
During March of last year, 22 permits were issued.
That doesn't even include South by Southwest.
"Well I work downtown and during South by Southwest and stuff, I've experienced taking 30 minutes to go a block. I didn't realize it was going to be like this," says Scott.

Most of the barricades up north have been removed but the Downtown area won't be completely cleaned up until Monday.

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