I have to admit that I have a personal interest in this topic. I currently live within the Rainey Street District and have grown quite fond of our rapidly growing community. When I moved into the neighborhood there wasn’t a single bar or restaurant within the area, but within the past couple of years it has exploded with redevelopment. Just to name a few of my favorites in the area: Lustre Pearl, Clive Bar, Icenhauer’s, G’Raj Mahal Café all provide a unique atmosphere and are worth checking out.
BIG RED DOG has also worked on several projects within the district. One of such projects is the Container Bar that is yet to be built, but a rendering can be seen below.
With that being said, the properties on Rainey Street are zoned CBD and under current development regulations they are not required to provide parking, sidewalk improvements, etc. This combined with the current choices of entertainment in the area results in a lot of vehicular and pedestrian traffic without the necessary infrastructure to support the areas growth.
The community and the City of Austin are taking action and last night the Austin City council unanimously approved a resolution to make improvements to the Rainey Street District. This resolution directs the City Manager to, “develop short and long-term recommendations on how to address pedestrian safety, congestion, and parking issues in the Rainey Street District while continuing to encourage redevelopment of the area…” It also directs the transportation staff to consider the creation of a Parking Benefits District (PBD) as a way to combat the on-street and off-street parking issue. In a PBD, the revenue that is earned from parking meters can be used to construct much needed streetscape improvements like sidewalks and curb ramps.
The City Manager has 60 days to report back to Council with recommendations so stay tuned.. In the meantime, come on over and enjoy everything the Rainey Street District has to offer!