AUSTIN (KXAN) — During the 10 days that South by Southwest is in town, the city has ordered that construction downtown be temporarily suspended until after the festival to allow for better traffic flow.
The order ensures that sidewalks, traffic and bicycle lanes are accessible for Austinites as well as out-of-town guests trying to navigate downtown streets. But you’ll still see construction downtown. The city does not have authority to stop work on private property.
Also, projects under long-term closure rules, like the Fairmont Hotel project, are allowed to continue work so they do not get behind schedule.
Major entertainment streets will be closed, like Sixth Street, Red River and Rainey Street. Streets like Trinity Street between 12th and 15th, will also be shut down. Police also have the option to shut down roadways like East Fifth Street between Interstate35 and Waller, depending on the crowds.
James Oldham works at the Austin Convention Center, he says the festival is good for the Austin economy and preparation and patience is what people need to pack when it comes to traffic woes.
“I think it’s great though, you know? That’s commerce. And also you can park as far away as you want and take the bus.”