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Formula 1 and the American Grand Prix: Sucks for Poor Locals!

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    I have an idea of what you feel Basquo.  My old neighborhood had the Miami Dolphins' stadium dropped right down in the middle of it during the late 80's; this would cause the area to be on lockdown due to traffic issues during home games on Sunday.  It was much worse back then because the roads going to it had yet to be widened like they are now.

    Since they have parking issues over there have you thought about making some easy extra cash by offering parking?  My dad use to do this, he called it divorce money.

Renting out parking spaces is not a viable option--believe me, I thought about it--because ~supposedly~ no pedestrian traffic is allowed in. I did see on the news that there are some landowners by the big "main" entrance that are charging money for people to park and walk in, but they're definitely no letting people walk in on our side of the mess. If they were. people would be parking all up and down our streets, and we don't see that as yet. Today is the Grand Prix itself so maybe it'll be different. I know that if taxis let their fares out to walk in before getting to the entrance proper, the Sheriff's boys are ticketing them.

House rentals in the city are going for as much as $70,000 for really nice houses in the city, and the city is where people want to stay. That's where all the pre and post festivities are. A huge fan fest which is keeping a chuck of downtown blocked off to traffice for a week, parties and balls 'til 4am, Flo Rida, Nelly and Enrique doing one wants to stay by the track itself. Why shell out some money to stay near the track in a lower middle class neighborhood without even a convenience store nearby (we really are out in the sticks) and then not be able to walk to your destination? You'd have to drive into town, pay somewhere to park if you could find it, then take a shuttle back, or at least drive a few miles up the toll road to join the inbound queue, spend an hour and a half in that, then pay hundreds to park...and then walk at least 2km to the grandstand.

Yes, I looked into all the ways this could benefit me, and all it's doing is fucking the locals except for the one gas station and the one tiny diner in Elroy, but they've been doing boon business since construction started. The people who approved this--and it was never up to the public to decide, and spend all this money (5 million a year I think for the F1 license, yep you have to pay them to come to your town)--tried to tell us it was something everyone could enjoy. Tell that to some of the families struggling to make their house payments and now have to scramble to find day care or not work because the schools are closed for an extra 3 days leading up  to the holiday. I'm sure they have an extra grand to take their families to COTA to sit on some grassy knolls and pay $12 dollars for a beer.

This time next year might be a good time to drive to the South Plains and visit Mom.

Creighton  I  feel your pain....   I have relatives who live in a  condo in the  city  right near the  Capitol...some  rich guy bought the  two  top floors of the  building
(4  units) and  spent  nearly $1million remodeling it   so he could  come to see the  events  each year   besides the   condos  he  gets  four  parking spaces in the  garage.......  I guess if you have  more money than you can  count it is OK to  just  throw it away   sure  sounds like a very expensive  "event ticket"  to me
  The  relatives are spending the week  here in Dallas  to avoid the mess there

  almost  forgot    the  guy submitted a request to build a Helipad on the roof of the  building action on that yet

Nick, you're right. It does suck for some of the folks living downtown, too, especially if they need to get to the office on a weekend. If they live in a condo that's in the "roped off" area, they'll have to walk to the nearest border and get some type of public transport. But they did choose to live downtown.

That helps put it in a better perspective to me. That and the fact that I just found out we're not actually prisoners as some neighbors and TV stations are reporting.

This is how I found out: After my last post, I was on my last nerve. Santi and I have been getting along swimmingly considering we've been isolated together for 2 days in this house, but I'm used to going into the city everyday unless I'm sick. It was around 11 that I decided damn it, I was going into town.

There was way more traffic on our road than  usual, but I didn't have to wait but 3 or 4 minutes before I could turn onto it. I was stopped at 3 intersections with officers directing traffic, and once I was by the rural park it was business as usual except for a few crazy drivers. I took a back way into South Austin and killed a little bit of time at Lowe's before going to the big Mexican grocery for some fresh seafood. Fresh as in, it's swimming around in huge tanks and they catch it, whack it, chop it and scale it and hand it to you still flopping. I opted for some lobsters. then I went back to Lowe's and bought a new orchid plant for Santi.

Coming back, there was even less hassle. I thought I would have to show ID or something to avoid being routed back towards town but I just pointed at the road in front of me and they waved me through.

So thanks for all the comraderie! I can officially say, it's not nearly as bad as we were told and we feared. Just noisy right now. And it'll be a mess around 4 when the race is over but by that time on Sundays we're working on dinner and not going anywhere. I just really, really hope it pumps some serious money into Austin's economy, and makes it worth everything our tax dollars are paying for and more.

but how cute are their cowboy hats!


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