SXSW causes traffic congestion around downtown Austin



Posted on March 18, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 10 at 4:17 PM

Traffic congestion into and out of downtown Austin is more noticeable than ever.

The South by Southwest Music Festival is bringing in 175,000 more visitors this week than normal. And with the added road closures, the congestion problem is that much worse.

"If you're not involved with SXSW, you can avoid I-35 and the downtown area, then do so. Use other routes -- 183, MoPac, the toll road," said APD Public Information Officer Veneza Aguinaga.

"I wouldn't want to be someone from Austin who's not into music right now," said Herve Salters, whose band is from Paris, France, where the traffic doesn't compare. "I mean this is easy compared to Paris traffic.”

Most of the road closures are centered near 6th Street and Red River. Other temporary closures include various downtown exit ramps and Riverside Drive near Auditorium Shores. But, driving a vehicle is not the only way to get around town.

"It really makes things a lot easier -- ride there and lock it up and walk around instead of trying to find parking and paying for it," said Ross Bennett, bicyclist.

Bennett uses his bike to not only get around the traffic congestion, but also through the crowds on 6th Street.

"[It] definitely makes things a lot easier and makes traffic a lot quicker," he said.

KVUE News also saw others using skateboards and even golf carts.

But pedi-cabs are probably the most popular mode to get around.

"I get on at 12 p.m. and get home around 3-4 in the morning, just for South By," said Sadler.