City transportation shifts to accommodate ACL Festival crowds

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Bicycling is the easiest way to get to and from Austin City Limits Music Festival though the crowded downtown area, according to ACL’s website.

The festival will take place Oct. 2–4 and Oct. 9–11 on a portion of Zilker Metropolitan Park. ACL Music Festival is the most attended event in Austin via ticket sales with an attendance of 450,000 people in 2014, according to the Austin Business Journal.

ACL Music Festival attendees should ride the free festival shuttle or bike to the event, but they should not drive to the park since there will be no available public parking at Zilker and extensive restricted parking areas in outlying areas will be enforced, according to an Austin Parks and Recreation Department press release. Bike racks will be available outside of the festival entrances.

No matter how festival attendees choose to commute downtown, ACL Music Festival’s website recommends attendees take advantage of the free shuttle provided by Capital Metro to and from the festival. The shuttle will leave from Republic Square on 4th Street and Guadalupe Street and will drop attendees off at the Barton Springs Road entrance, and runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day of the festival, according to ACL’s website.

Festival attendees can get dropped off directly at the free shuttle location by riding MetroRapid, which pick riders up at stations along North Lamar Street and South Congress Avenue, according to a Capital Metro press release. During the festival weekends, MetroRapid will run extended hours later into the night, according to the press release.

To be dropped off closer to Zilker Park, Capital Metro’s press release recommends passengers take MetroRapid 803 to Barton Springs Station located next to Zilker Park.

Parking is strongly discouraged altogether, but especially in surrounding neighborhoods, according to ACL’s website. The city of Rollingwood will also have restricted parking and traffic control measures during the festival to prevent resident disturbances, according to the website.

“Respect the residents of the Zilker Park area!” ACL’s website reads. “This is their home ... not a parking lot, dumping site or otherwise. In response to safety concerns from area residents, several nearby streets will be closed and parking will be restricted.”

Certain previously closed roads will instead be open this year, including Barton Springs Road, which will be open for local access only. However, further access to Robert E. Lee will not be open as it has been in previous years, according to the Parks and Recreation Department’s press release.

According to the press release, all scheduled street closures will start at 12:01 a.m. Friday–Monday morning during each festival weekend. The press release states that all commuters should expect a higher volume of traffic in the general park area.

“There will be a traffic pattern change on Barton Springs Road for the 2015 year to help further reduce the number of vehicles impacting and causing safety concerns for patron pedestrian foot traffic entering the festival,” the press release read.

Pharmacy graduate student Diem Ho said she knows she will take the bus to get as close as possible to the festival and then walk the rest of the way, since she successfully commuted to ACL this way last year.

“I live here, I go to school here and I realize that by walking [and taking] buses are like way, way faster than driving and finding parking.”