AUSTIN -- Rainey Street near downtown Austin is famous for its bars and restaurants and its lack of parking.
The narrow street was originally built for a residential neighborhood. Now businesses have taken over several older homes. Congestion continues to be an issue on Rainey Street. Other complaints include a lack of parking, a lack of sidewalks and a lack of street lights.
"If they want people to come downtown, they've got to figure out ways to increase parking options. I think whatever they do to figure out those solutions would be great," said Rainey Street patron Andrew Ramsammy.
The City of Austin is tackling a variety of issues as it tries to address the fast growth in this Austin hot-spot.
There are three proposals currently on the table that include a range of solutions to address safety issues in the area. They include adding metered parking spaces on Rainey Street, East Avenue and the Mexican American Cultural Center. Other options include angled parking on East Avenue and designating Rainey Street as a one-way street. City officials say that would free up enough room to add 22 additional spaces, create a bike lane and add sidewalks.
"It's become a popular place, and when you touch something like that you've got to be careful not to destroy what makes it popular by trying to do improvements," said Public Works Director Harry Lazarus.
Several City of Austin departments have collaborated on the proposal. It could go before the Austin City Council as early as next month.