The South by Southwest festivals are here and it’s time to start thinking about your commute.
The festivals, beginning Friday and running through March 18, will tie up traffic on some of the city’s main downtown corridors.
Road closures started as early as 3 a.m. Friday, with some lasting for the entire festival. Maps showing all the planned closures are available on the city’s website.
Full closures are expected for the duration of SXSW on:
- Sixth Street from Congress Avenue to Interstate 35.
- Brazos Street from Fifth to Seventh streets.
- Red River Street from Fifth to 10th streets.
- Sabine Street from Fifth to Seventh streets.
- •Trinity Street from Fifth to Sixth streets and from Fourth to Cesar Chavez streets.
- •San Jacinto Boulevard from Fifth to Sixth streets.
- •Rainey Street from Driskill to Cummings streets.
Other partial closures are planned on roads throughout the downtown area.
The city encourages people to use mass transit during the festival, particularly on Friday, which it calls the busiest transit day of the year.
On that day, throngs of visitors will make their way to Austin for the festival just as spring breakers hit the road out of town. Officials are encouraging people to walk, bike, carpool, take the bus or work from home.
Capital Metro is offering extended hours and increased service during the festival.
MetroRapid service will be extended to 2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until 10:30 p.m. on Sundays. MetroRail service will be extended daily too, running Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. and on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to midnight. Capital Metro will double the number of Night Owl buses operating most nights. For more information about hours and schedules visit Cap Metro’s website.