Expected Traffic Congestion Means Early School and City Closures on Friday
With South by Southwest Film and Interactive starting Friday, and President Obama in Austin the same day, Austin is anticipating significant effects on traffic congestion. Austin ISD announced that 17 campuses will be letting students out early on Friday to “minimize complications” for families.
The following campuses will let out at 12:30 p.m.:
- Ann Richards School, Austin and LASA high schools and LBG Early College High School
- Fulmore, Kealing and O. Henry middle schools
- Barton Hills, Becker, Dawson, Galindo, Pease, Mathews, Travis Heights and Zilker elementary schools
- Rosedale School
- Clifton Career Development Center
All other campuses will let out according to the regular schedule, but the district says if families pick their students up early from any of its campuses, it will count as an excused absence. AISD also says families should be aware that all bus routes will likely be affected that day, causing potential delays.
The City of Austin is also making Friday a short day, letting its non-essential employees leave work at noon, an hour and a half before the president is scheduled to arrive. Bill Manno, the city’s special events manager, says the mayor is calling on others to do what they can to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads.
“We’re asking employers to consider alternative methods, whether telecommuting or alternate work schedules for their employees. If you’re going to go downtown on Friday, if you have to go downtown, please consider mass transit or carpooling,” Manno says.
Even mass transit is likely to have some additional challenges on Friday. Capital Metro is anticipating that the president’s visit will cause “major service delays” on Friday.