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More details on traffic plan for Austin F1 race
About 20,000 cars and other personal vehicles carrying more than 72,000 people will descend on a Formula One race planned next year at a racetrack under construction in southeastern Travis County, according to a traffic management plan submitted to officials Friday .

Another 26,000 people are expected to arrive by shuttle, nearly 18,000 more will park off-site or in recreational vehicles, and about 1,000 will arrive by bicycle or helicopter, according to the plan, which was done by Kimley-Horn and Associates for local F1 organizers.

The plan is not the final word on traffic control on race weekends for the county roads that lead to the Circuit of the Americas, where yearly F1 races are planned from 2012 to 2021. But it does offer more details from organizers' plans to move an estimated 120,000 people into and out of the circuit and where those people will likely park.

Because the plan is not final, a spokeswoman for circuit officials, Ali Putnam, said she couldn't comment on specifics.

"Anything in there could possibly change," Putnam said.

City and county officials had required that the plan be completed by July 31. Organizers and officials with the city, county, Texas Department of Transportation and others will use it to develop a master plan to control traffic during races.

Circuit organizers also submitted plans Friday to widen about 3,000 feet of Elroy Road, north of the circuit, from two lanes to four lanes, including a bridge over Dry Creek.

"It came in Friday, and our engineers will be looking at it," Anna Bowlin, division director of Development Services for Travis County, said Tuesday. She said county officials are waiting for an offer from circuit officials on how to split the costs of the Elroy Road project, estimated at about $4 million to $5 million, depending on the plans. County commissioners will make a final decision, she said, but there is no date on when plans need to be hashed out.

"We would like to get them finalized as soon as we can, and I imagine they'd like them, too," Bowlin said.

Last year, county planners estimated that traffic delays tied to a race could be as long as 12 hours. A study done in December by Kimley-Horn concluded that delays would be a little more than three hours, even without any improvements to existing roads. The study released Friday said it would take about 3.5 hours to clear all lots. The plan did not provide details on how long it would take to fill the lots because, it said, people are expected to arrive throughout the day.

The revised plans call for 20,575 parking spaces among five named or numbered lots scattered around the circuit. About 5,000 of the spaces would be paved, and the rest would be on grass. Attendees would purchase parking permits in advance, and attendants would control the lots.

Another 26,000 people would arrive by shuttles, with parking at a dedicated lot about seven miles away off Texas 71 between FM 973 and Texas 130. Those shuttles, and others from hotels and private tour companies, would use dedicated lanes.

December's study estimated that 3,000 fans will arrive by bicycle and that another 20,000 will be camping on the track complex.

The new estimates say about 500 people will arrive by bike after parking at a dedicated lot a few miles from the circuit. About 2,000 people are expected to stay in RVs parked in private off-site lots.

The plan also calls for contra-flow lanes, in which some lanes change directions to handle the bulk of traffic in one direction, on FM 812 and Elroy Road. There will also be a dedicated route for emergency vehicles and circuit officials and at least one lane available in places for local traffic. A six-lane road planned through the site between 812 and Elroy Road is also expected to alleviate bottlenecks to individual parking lots.

The estimates do not take into consideration motorcycle parking, and it did not factor in taxis, which the study said will be discouraged.

The revised plan is for an F1 race only. MotoGP races and Australian V8 Supercars are also planned at the circuit beginning in 2013, but those events are expected to draw fewer people than F1, the study said. Organizers will use versions of the F1 plan for those races, including a more detailed motorcycle parking plan for MotoGP races. The Statesman

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