AUSTIN -- With its endless row of bars, if you want something to drink in Austin, historic East Sixth Street is an ideal choice.
Or is it?
According to a poll by the Austin Business Journal, 57 percent of voters think the stretch of road sometimes referred to as “Dirty Sixth” is a problem for Austin, instead of being the attraction it once was.
“We think the street can be so much more,” said Charlie Betts, the executive director for the Downtown Austin Alliance.
He said he disagrees with the nickname “Dirty Sixth,” but admitted the five-block stretch of bars and restaurants is in serious need of revitalization.
“We think improvement to the sidewalks and streets is imperative, and the city is getting ready to do that," Betts said.
The city has formulated a $19 million dollar plan to improve East Sixth Street's roads, sewers and infrastructure and to widen the sidewalks.
“That needs to be fixed, and when the public part of the street is done, it will be very encouraging to the private owners,” Betts said.
The area is a already a popular tourist attraction, however, the Downtown Austin Alliance said it is also working on attracting locals and local businesses with more live music.
“Encouraging more live music venues on this street that would help this street live up to the moniker of the ‘Live Music Capitol of the World,’” said Betts. “We think it can be the crown jewel of our city."
The road work planned for East Sixth Street is still in the design phase. Betts said it will be several years before construction gets underway.