The proposed Austin, Texas Formula 1 track is still far from a reality, and county planners may have shown just how much of a pipe dream the track really is.
Twelve hours. That's how long it would take fans on race days to get into, and then out of, the proposed Formula One track to be built southeast of Austin, according to a quick analysis of the site plan by county planners.
Planners working on the racetrack site plan reached that estimate after a field trip to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, where it takes about three hours for fans to enter and exit the track, said Joe Gieselman, manager of Travis County's Transportation and Natural Resources Department.
The 12-hour figure emerged during a Travis County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday, during which Richard Suttle Jr., the attorney for promoter Full Throttle Productions, was peppered with questions from commissioners.
Gieselman said the county's delay-time estimate, as well as other pointed queries about who would pay for road improvements and how many jobs the project might create, served to highlight the county's frustration over the paperwork submitted by Full Throttle — which is thus far so sketchy as to make planners' jobs nearly impossible, he said.
Twelve hours! That would be the U.S. equivalent of the Chinese traffic jam.
Full Throttle is incrementally releasing its plans to government officials in hopes that it can gain approval for them in steps rather than all at once. Plus, the developers want to start construction in December. That's less than three months away, and the track is still in the approval process.
Call me skeptical, but again, I'll believe the track when it's completed. And estimates like 12-hour traffic delays aren't doing the project any favors.