Rush hour traffic along Interstate 35 and MoPac Expressway consistently ranks as one of the top annoyances faced by Austinites, but traffic during November’s Formula 1 race could even trump that.
Pastor Ronald Kendrick with the Eastview Church of God has cancelled his church’s service on the Sunday of the scheduled Grand Prix.
"I've been around a few years,” he said. “I have been in a few traffic jams all over the country, so I know what is going to happen."
Kendrick says his two-dozen members travel from as far away as Buda and Bastrop. Both directions are expected to have heavy delays that weekend.
Even with improvements, roads around the track aren't ready for what's coming, according the Kendrick.
"We haven't seen anything, except that they are widening the shoulders,” he said. “In the morning and the afternoon or evening, if you see rush hour traffic, it is already bumper-to-bumper."
Austin’s Transportation Assistant Director Gordon Derr says it’s important that drivers—whether they are attending the race or not—know the routes.
"People can find out what is going on each day and what to steer clear of," Derr said.
Even more frustrating than cancelling church, Kendrick says he's heard nothing from Circuit of The Americas.
"I have a neighbor every now and then who will come over and say, 'We are having a birthday party. We are going to have some loud music. Will that be all right?' I say, 'Fine,' but he lets me know," he said.
With church chairs empty, Kendrick says he will focus on the sermon after Thanksgiving.
Circuit of The Americas officials say they've sold 90 percent of the onsite parking permits for the race. As many as 19,000 cars are expected to make the drive to the track.
COTA officials predict the 17-mile trip will take about two hours by car on race day.