APD aggressively enforces parking during ACL week 2


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE


Posted on October 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 6:35 PM

AUSTIN -- A second weekend of the popular Austin City Limits Music Festival is in full swing. Promising to be just as entertaining as the first.

The start was rainy, but fans were ready.

"We're here for the long haul. Regardless," said festival attendee Ryan Lee.

Michael Scotty agrees, "I've got my rain gear, I'm ready to go."

And Austin police officers are ready too.

"We've of course received complaints about people parking in neighborhoods," said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell. "APD is going to be much more aggressive."

For the first weekend of ACL, officers issued 566 parking citations around Zilker Park. And 22 vehicles were towed.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said violators inconvenience home owners. He says they also pose a safety threat.

"Last week we had people parking on both sides of the street. And it made it almost impossible if we had to get a fire engine through," explained Acevedo.

Parking on some neighborhood streets is restricted to one side of the road.

Mayor Lee Leffingwell's suggestion is to utilize the free shuttles to Zilker Park.

"Park downtown, wherever, on the street, in a parking garage. And go to Republic Square, there's a shuttle," he said.

That's exactly what Diana Gandara Fierro did.

"Shuttle. It's the way to go" Gandara Fierro said. "No line. We were directed to the first one, waited five minutes, and took off."

Parking isn't the only issue the city is dealing with. Some residents have another complaints. Sound levels.

"The noise is horrible," said Sunshine Williams who lives in the Zilker neighborhood. Williams would like to see the festival moved to the Circuit of the Americas track. "All during the weekend I have to close my doors and windows. I have a friend who lives down the way and he says his windows rattled."

Mayor Leffingwell agrees that the noise can be loud. But he also points out, the festival does end early each night.

"Obviously, this is a music festival and it's loud. But you know, it closes down early. It doesn't run until the wee hours. We try to respect that. It's supposed to close down at 10 o'clock," Leffingwell said.

"Complaining about live music in Austin is like complaining about the weather. It doesn't make any sense," added Mateo J. Daniel who also lives in the Zilker neighborhood.

However, there is hope for sound sensitive residents. While the weather may dampen festivities, the wind will ease noise.

"Normally during ACL, our winds are almost always out of the south. That was pretty unusual last weekend to have a north wind during the festival. And that's what took the sound into south Austin," explained KVUE Chief Meteorologist Mark Murray.

Despite some complaints made to the Mayor's Office, and 311, the city did not issue any sound or noise violations in connection with the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

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