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Rainey Street no longer allowing cars on weekend nights to limit traffic

City officials will implement the "Rainey Street, Shared Streets" pilot, closing off the road to car traffic similar to what is done on Sixth Street on the weekends.

AUSTIN, Texas — Rainey Street, a popular entertainment district in Downtown Austin, has thousands of visitors every weekend. However, with too many cars and people and not enough space, it has become a safety hazard.

Starting Thursday night, that will change.

Austin City Council gave direction to the city manager to implement the "Rainey Street, Shared Streets" pilot program.

Every Thursday night to Sunday morning from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Rainey Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Davis Street to River Street.

This includes motorcycles and large pub crawl-like vehicles, according to Liane Miller, a program manager with Austin Transportation.

Bicycles, scooters and smaller pedicabs will still be permitted along the street.

"This area has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, and so we are balancing a bunch of different needs in this area and we just want to try this pilot to see what might work going forward," Miller said.

RELATED: Safety improvements coming to Austin's popular Rainey Street

Austin police will monitor the closure, using barricades to close down the road, Miller added. 

This pilot will look similar to the closures that take place on East Sixth Street every weekend.

Drop-off zones will be arranged for individuals being dropped off at Rainey Street. 

RELATED: Rainey Street may follow 6th Street's lead, shut down traffic during peak times

The pilot, proposed in June 2018, will analyze the effects of traffic mobility and pedestrian safety, as well as the closure's impact on residents and businesses in the area. 

"We want to make sure we have customer satisfaction from all the residents and visitors, but we also want to make sure that traffic operations are working and that everything is safe," Miller explained. 

The pilot will last from Dec. 5 through March 8.

WATCH: Safety changes coming to Austin's Rainey Street 


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