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F1 Traffic and Safety Survey (Update)

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The Grand Prix has just finished at the Circuit of the Americas track. Regional officials share the following regarding traffic conditions leaving the track: 

Today marks the inaugural United States Grand Prix for Austin and through mid-day no major incidents have occurred this race day, according to City of Austin and Travis County officials. ...  When departing the race, officials recommend State Highway 21 as an alternate route to State Highway 130 or  IH 35, if southbound;  or Texas 71, if eastbound. After the race all lanes will be westbound on Pearce Lane.  On  FM 812, three lanes will be westbound and one eastbound.

Update (Nov. 16, 4:43 p.m.): With Friday rush hour underway, travelers would be advised to consult the city'straffic report pagefor accident information and Google Maps' real-time traffic information. (Here'sits Austin map.)

Original post (Nov. 16, 2:05 p.m.): With the first full day of the Circuit of the Americas’ (COTA) Formula 1 events ending at 5 p.m., things appear to be running relatively smoothly.

Traffic to the COTA track appears to be flowing well, characterized by Austin/Travis County Emergency Operations Center as “’busy’ with some minor delays.”

One aspect public safety responders have sought to crack down on is walking alongside roadways to the track. On Twitter, the city says “Officers are being advised to begin issuing tickets to cab drivers who dropping fares off on public roadways to walk to CoTA site.” Violators can face a $500 fine. 

Shuttle service to the track also appears to be working well, with many open buses recently observed by KUT News.

Maybe the biggest gripe fans are having relates to cell phone service at the track. “As anticipated, cell phone service has been impacted at the site with some services not available. Service is generally normal as cars are racing but spotty afterwards as fans get on the phone,” the city says.

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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