If there is anything South By Southwest is not friendly to, it’s cars. Once the festivities begin, the streets of downtown Austin are congested with people from all over the world, and the last thing you want is to be stuck in a car downtown. Since there are so many events going on from the West Campus area to the East Riverside area, you’ll need a quick alternative to ensure you make it to where you need to be.
Because Austin is a bike-friendly environment, biking is the most efficient way to get where you need to go. You’re not taking up too much space, and you won’t need to worry about paying for parking. “I’m going to be on a bike,” said biology junior Waytao Shing. “It’s fast, mobile, there are a lot of places to lock up at and you do not need to worry about traffic.” With the bike routes that Austin has to offer, those with a two-wheel ride can get from the UT area to downtown in a matter of minutes. “I’ll be riding my bike mostly,” said computer sciences junior Jorge Prado. “Austin is way too packed that week to even have a guaranteed spot on a city bus.”
For those that do not have a bike and do not want to make the pilgrimage from UT (or Riverside) all the way to downtown, there is always Capital Metro. Running from early in the morning to late at night, the bus will get you closer to downtown and in a more timely manner than just walking. “I plan on taking the bus,” said mathematics sohpomore Raquel Salinas. “Students can ride for free, so there isn’t the issue of having to pay for transportation.” Capital Metro also offers the rail line for those living on the far north side of town.
Parking a motorcycle downtown, or anywhere relatively close, is not as difficult as having to find parking for a car. “I would definitely use my motorcycle,” said electrical engineering senior Karan Dodia. Dodia, who owns a Kawasaki Ninja, says it’s a great way to get through town easily and quickly. “I’ve seen parking for cars during SXSW, so I would use my motorcycle instead.”
Once you are finally in the center of SXSW and all it has to offer there is only one thing to do: walk. Since most venues are close to each other, walking is the best way to go for when you’re downtown. “I don’t think driving is feasible seeing as there will be plenty of people flocking the roads and creating major traffic,” said biology freshman Camilla Martin. Since everyone will be walking, it’s a great opportunity to just meet new people from all over the world, and find out where certain groups of people are going to. “I plan on walking a lot,” Salinas said. “You get the chance to bump into people. You may even see someone famous.”