Bulldozers and construction equipment have remained at work for months. Crew workers spend their endless days working to build the new Tesla factory, with only the end result as their drive to move forward. As the building continues, we face just one big problem: Zilker park. The once relaxing weekend spot filled with a myriad of people laying on picnic blankets talking with friends as they’d snack had remained the main destination for weekends with friends, walking dogs, or going for a nice morning run. However, with the construction of Tesla’s newest factory in Austin, all of this has changed. Zilker will remain as nothing but a mere memory of the past. Now, it will face abandonment as people will walk the fine trails of GigaTexas, forgetting the existence of the once popular park.
As announced in the summer of 2020, founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, stated that the building of the Cybertruck factory would see its location in Austin after deciding between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Nashville, Tennessee as well. Last year, Musk claimed that he planned to build a boardwalk with a hiking and biking trail that would open to the public. Zilker, once known for its biking and walking trails, shows many similarities to the Tesla factory. The location of the factory, situated right by the Colorado river, promises a great view of fish and birds. With all of these features, Tesla, soon to become a well known site to the public, estimates its opening in late 2021. With projects like Space-X, the aerospace industry devoted to reducing the transportation costs of space in order to allow for the colonization of Mars, many fear that Musk will soon find a way to take over the world. But for now, he will take over Zilker. Will the people protect the park and keep it as their weekend location, or will they walk amongst the trails of the GigaFactory instead?
Texas as we know it will face a great change from the construction of the factory in the transportation field as well, not just ecologically, which will bring forth fear among many Texans. Not only will the site of Zilker lose its popularity and potentially close, but the company plans to dominate the pickup industry in Texas as well. As of now, the market remains dominated by trucks under companies and franchises like Ford, General Motors, Ram, and Toyota. However, with the release of the Cybertruck, many have predicted that many of these companies will face excessive problems with sales and see a decline in their worth with the introduction of the new Tesla plant. It leads one to consider: will Tesla take over the pickup truck craze? Will Tesla control Texas for good?
Although we fear losing the park that makes Austin unique, we must fight to save it at all costs before it closes. Who knows what Tesla has plans for in the future? If we want to save the solacing location that makes up our weekends we must choose Zilker over Tesla. We must continue to support the park even with the appealing features that GigaTexas offers.
By Sofia Portillo, Features Editor