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December 22, 2010


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Here's a brain teaser for you. Let's say the area was developed for more housing like the previous plans instead of Formula 1. Who would of paid for the road improvements? I see other areas like Round Rock that have spacious 4 lane arteries in newly developed areas. Did Dell pay for those?
2. Why don't these types of improvements happen in Southeast Travis County? and why would FTP have to carry the full load like commissioner Gomez requested? I would say that FTP will use the roads less than 10% the first year and the county residents will use the rest. I live in the area and will use the roads 100% of the 1st year. As a taxpayer I will gladly approve road improvements. On Grand Prix weekend though, I will likely ride my bike!


I agree. But you are missing the point. The approvals required to get the public to pay are beyond the time frame of the project. The object is to find a way to make this happen and then spread the costs amongst those who benefit from it.

F1 brings 100,000 in in a few hours. A housing development does that over a longer period of time. The traffic plans are different.


I think you have missed the point as well.
Consider this.Originally this ste was slated for 1800 new homes.If all of those new homes were two car families that is 3600 cars.That is only 10% of the amount of cars expected for the GP.It is also very unlikely that all of these cars would be attempting to access the roads at the same time.The F1GP will result in 30000 vehicles attempting to use these roads within a one hour time frame.FTP must have known from the outset the road system was inadequate for their purpose and should have planned accordingly.


Very good analysis. I believe that using Entertainment and Utility Districts pay for the infrastructure improvements is the proper way forward. Taxes on the ticket and parking revenue would pay off the bonds issued by the utility Districts. As is the case with general revenue bond funding road improvements, the property owners whose property is improved would be billed for their share of the improvements with the assessment fees applying against the utility district's obligations.

It takes time for these to be approved and enabling legislation in place. Unfortunately time has run out on the road issue so some serious creative thinking has to go into the first race. There are not enough busses in Texas to make any type of meaningful shuttle service work. (Remember you will be moving 100,000+ onto the site in the early morning hours (assuming the race is around 10am to cater for European TV) and then away after noon. A bad customer experience with the first race will take several races to overcome.


Your analysis indicates you think the promoter proposes to use traffic management permanently, with no road improvements. Did I misunderstand you on this? Kimley-Horn's traffic management plan does not suggest that no improvements are ever needed - it simply states that access times for the inaugural event can be kept to just over three hours to completely clear the site, using traffic management alone. Travis County planners say about a mile of Elroy Road should be widened to four lanes for the first race. I think FTP clearly sees the need for major road improvements, and will be working with the county and state to get those done, including widening FM 812 to five lanes.

The road funding question does not need to be resolved immediately. Work on FM 812, a state highway, will involve strict r.o.w. acquisition procedures (appraisals, offer of fair market value etc.) and a full environmental review. The TX DOT has no funding for this work in it's present capital improvement plan, but that can be changed. Both the county and state should share in the cost of this upgrade because it will benefit the public every day of the year, not just race fans on a few weekends a year.

"...improvements to FM 812 and Elroy road from Hwy 130 to the site entrances will be the minimum solution agreeed upon." A slight clarification - only about one mile of Elroy Road needs widening - from the intersection with McAngus Road to the track entrance. Elroy Road from McAngus west to TX 130 is already a four-lane. The immediate work on FM 812 will likely involve only widening near the entrance, including the double left-turn bay shown on the plans. It's designed based on state standards, so I expect the promoter will fund that intersection work, but not further upgrades to 812 without state and county participation.

Regarding the suggestion to use McAngus Road for emergency access, that road provides access only to the west parking area, and no interior roads will be built across the Dry Creek flood plain to the track area. Fans will walk across a pedestrian bridge, as shown on the Master Plan. McAngus has no interchange at TX 130, so it will serve traffic mainly going west into Austin, after it merges with FM 812 west of TX 130. Emergency access will be via Elroy Road and FM 812.

The city council's tabling a traffic plan item may have been because the county has the lead on traffic management in Austin's ETJ. I think the city's involvement is mainly police and fire support during the races.

I agree with you that upgrading Elroy Road the entire way around the track is impractical. That route serves a residential area on the east or southeast side of the track. It's narrow, poorly drained, and has minimal r.o.w. Any major work could have significant effects on residential properties and would likely be controversial and time-consuming. I'd expect that section of Elroy Rd. to be restricted to residents during the race weekends.


visit Sebring on a race weekend. Traffic is managed well under very simular conditions.

I've waited in line for maybe 30 minutes at the most.

I realize Sebring is a multi-day event with several supporting races and folks campout at the track. Why not do that at the USF-1 event?


Thanks Foran for your comments. I do understand that FTP is just trying to satisfy a short-term concern and they know it's in their best interest to have a long-term solution. Regardless of whatever road improvements are included over the years, there will always be a traffic management plan and it will work much like the one described for the short term. I've been going to LSU football games for 40 years and there is still contra flow, bus transportation, thousands of campers, etc. And the traffic plan works, but I still expect to be around there for 3 hours.

The already improved section of Elroy Road is shown in green on my site plan.I took note of that when I last visited the site.I didn't mention that and I should have.The problem is that the ROW is only 65' and there are 5 parcels identified that must be acquired.

You are right about McAngus.

It is my personal belief that the plan originally submitted will not allow the site to be cleared in 3 hours or less. You seem to think it will. I hope so. If not, that's not a real problem for me, I will stick around for whatever they have planned after the race. Besides, I plan to attend in my RV, so I won't be going anywhere.

That wasn't the case in 1997 when I first went to Silverstone. What a nightmare! If a situation like that occurred at the inaugural GP in Austin, Americans would never come back.

For the event to succeed it must attract new fans, American fans, and really show some Texas charm to our foreign guests.

I do enjoy discussing these things with well informed people like yourself. Sometimes they are hard to find on the internet.


Roberto, when I attended Sebring in 2008, I stayed off site and drove into the facility everyday. Traffic was non-existent since most people show up early and stay several days camped around the circuit. Part of the Austin plan is to have 5000 camping spaces with about 20,000 people.

This will help the traffic concerns a lot, but Sunday morning before daybreak the roads will be packed with twice the traffic seen on Saturday.

I plan to be in the campground. That's a first for me at a GP. I usually stay in a $100 hotel that costs $350 bucks per night. LoL! Except in Monaco it was a $350 hotel that costs $750.


Flood1 thanks for the reply. On our Sebring trips we stay in Lakeland and drive down early each day. Good to hear that camping will be part of the infrastructure at the Austin venue.

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