Friday traffic can be bad enough in Austin, but when you add SXSW and the president coming to town, it's a recipe for gridlock. "Traffic on Friday is just going to be an absolute zoo," Austin mayor Steve Adler said.
That's why Adler sent out an e-newsletter Tuesday encouraging employers to allow people to work from home Friday. That way there will be less people downtown amid all the traffic. Adler also said some city departments are having employees work from home. He also said people can stagger work hours or leave work early. "People would see a remarkable difference on our streets," Adler said. Adler has seen the presidential effect on traffic before. "I found myself stopped dead in traffic along with all the other traffic around me," Adler said.
Adler said they clear a direct route for the president. "And nobody moves until he's ready and then he starts his path and nobody moves again until he's virtually completed that path," Adler said.
The president is set to speak at 2:30 at the Long Center Friday afternoon. That means his motorcade will go through downtown early Friday afternoon. That's why in a city memo Tuesday, city manager Marc Ott said non-essential employees can leave Friday at noon.