APD marked patrols will watch barricades over the weekend

FILE - Austin Police patrol car (KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Austin Police patrol car (KXAN File Photo)

It’s been two weeks since the deadly crash outside a SXSW venue and Austin Police plan on making changes at this years 87th Texas Relays in light of the tragedy.

APD said there will be marked patrol units infront of each barricaded in downtown Austin over the weekend.   The idea is to show there is a strong police presence in these areas.

“Anytime we have a big event like Texas Relays, we are always concerned by the pedestrian traffic so we ask people to please be safe when you’re driving,” said Lt. Vincent Hernandez.  “Downtown will be congested so just be cognicant of pedestrians crossing in crosswalks.”

Thousands of people are expected to be in town for the nationally recognized track and field event.

“The Texas Relays is just like any other event in Austin. We encourage people to come down and enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown Austin — it’s a great city,” said
Lt. Vincent Hernandez.

APD is also working with the transportation department.  Friday night at 6:00 they will close off 6th street and its cross streets.  Also I-35 exit ramps at Cesar Chavez, 6th Street and 8th
APD says they’ll start as early as 60-THIS EVENING.
They also warn in addition to closing 6th street and its cross streets, I-35 exit ramps may also close at Cesar Chavez and the 6th thru 8th Street exit.

There are also some other changes at the event this year when it comes to booze.  In February the University of Texas started selling beer and wine at basketball, baseball and softball games.

Athletic Director Steve Patterson said they could look into expanding it for other sports next fall.   For example, if alcohol sales are allowed at football games – it could rack in $1 million a year in revenue.

When it comes to alcohol at Texas Relays he says it will be in a closed tented area and expects everyone to act responsibly.
Patterson said the university will continue to study alcohol sales during the Spring.


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