AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Rainey Street historic district is getting so popular, parking is almost impossible to find. That may change.
Starting Thursday, the city is activating 31 pay-stations in the area.
The Rainey Street district is roughly three by three blocks wide. It is bordered by downtown to the north, Lady Bird Lake to the south and Interstate 35 to the east.
In addition to new condos, there are 72 properties in the area, many of which are converting to eateries and saloons, adding to the congestion.
Craft Pride, which boasts 54 Texas made brews, is celebrating it's grand opening Thursday and they hope the parking meters will make it easier for patrons to park.
"I know a lot of people park down here who work in the area," said Craft Pride co-owner Brandy Egli. "I think this may open up some spots for patrons versus them waiting for people to go home from work."
In order to improve overall mobility in the area, the city is also considering sidewalks, bike lanes, and possibly making Rainey Street one-way, northbound, to allow for reverse angle parking.
John Contraras has lived in the district all his life and he's concerned that it'll take more than pay stations to fix the traffic problem.
"Such a narrow street was never meant for this volume of traffic," said Contraras. "This may be a solution in a way, but not the solution."
The pay stations will cost the city $400,000, but the money they generate will go to pay for them and parking enforcement patrols. Revenue from the stations at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) will go toward the MACC operating funds.
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