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Big events inching closer to East Austin

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Task force recommends evening out demand on parks

Austin City Council’s Parklands Events Task Force has recommended moving some of the biggest events away from the three parks where they are routinely held—Zilker Park, Auditorium/Vic Mathias Shores, and Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach in Town Lake Metropolitan Park aka Festival Beach—the Austin Monitor’s Chad Swiatecki reported Tuesday.

The task force, which was formed in 2015, has finalized its recommendations, which will be presented Wednesday to City Council’s Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee, according to the Monitor article; its recommendations will most likely then be distributed to the applicable city departments.

In September, the task force issued an initial report that contained what are essentially the same recommendations in its final one, broaching the idea of decreasing the number of events held Auditorium Shores and moving new events toward such east and southeast parks as Walter E. Long Metro Park, Bolm Road District Park, Onion Creek Metropolitan Park, and Johnny Trevino Jr. Metropolitan Park.

Swiatecki also reported that Parks and Recreation Department Director Sara Hensley has started work on an implementation plan, that the task force recommendations include the creation of a master plan for events at East Austin parks, as well as using environmentally friendly practices during events, increasing event fees to compensate for wear and tear on parks, and gradually moving some currently held events away from Zilker Park—including KGSR’s Blues on the Green, Zilker Relays, the Urban Music Festival, the Austin Food & Wine Festival, Austin Pride, the Cap Tex Tri Triathlon, and the Tri Rock Triathlon —in coming years. The last item is somewhat of a departure from the initial report, which indicated that only new events might be moved to the other parks.

The task force also made recommendations for addressing the impact such moves will have on their new neighborhoods, Swiatecki reported; these include ways tolessen or reroute car and pedicab traffic, playing close attention to the impact of sound levels, and making event set-up and tear down as quick and efficient as possible.

Task force report recommends moving popular events to different parks [Austin Monitor]

Big events could shift away from parks in central city [Curbed Austin]