F1 Footrace Intensifies Traffic Fears
Along with the new Formula One racetrack, participants in Saturday’s Formula Run race also saw bumper-to-bumper traffic, which has some local residents worried about traffic on the weekend of the big race.
The first lap around the Formula One racetrack was done on foot. Over 5,000 people participated in Saturday’s Formula Run, a 3.4-mile race coordinated by the Circuit of the Americas and RunTex. The race was also the first chance for the public to view the newly minted, $400 million track.
But last-minute registrations, a dense fog over the city and traffic jams at the Texas 130 and FM 812 intersection forced organizers to delay the start of the event by 40 minutes. Ali Putman with Circuit of the Americas says last weekend’s traffic was not an indicator of what’s to come.
“That event, it had a different set of transportation plans in place for what we have for the Formula One race,” Putman said. “We have an in-depth, very well planned, well-thought out and, we think, well-executed transportation plan for the F1 race that involves multiple modes of transportation, multiple entrances and exit points.”
But some residents of Elroy in southeast Travis County aren’t buying it. Cathy Olive, president of the Elroy Neighborhood Association, said that residents used back roads to avoid the traffic congestion last weekend. But that won’t be an option on the weekend of the race, when some 120,000 fans descend on their neighborhood about one short mile from the track.
“I’ve been out there 30 years, I know that area, and I know how tiny those roads are with no shoulder,” Olive said. “One bus crashes into the back of another bus or one transmission goes out on one bus, and traffic is going to come to a standstill.”
According to the Travis County sheriff’s office, some roads around the track will be restricted during the weekend of the race, with fines up to $500.