Austin camping ban citations jump in September, data shows

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The number of camping ban-related citations given out by the Austin Police Department jumped in September as the new statewide law took effect, according to figures from the Downtown Austin Community Court, which handles the class c misdemeanors.

The data obtained by KXAN showed 64 citations were issued between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30. That is nearly double the total issued between July 11 (the start of the city’s phase three enforcement) and Aug. 31.

Of the 64 September citations, 17 were for violations of the statewide law, and all were issued along Research Boulevard in north Austin — most on the same day.

“We are seeing, perhaps, a marginal improvement, but that’s not full enforcement,” said Matt Mackowiak, cofounder of the political action committee Save Austin Now, which is currently suing the City of Austin over the ban’s enforcement.

Mackowiak told KXAN despite the visible decrease in camps across the city, the number of citations issued thus far remains a drop in the bucket.

“I also know that the city wants to appear clean and safe for tourists who are here for (the Austin City Limits Music Festival) over the 9 or 10 day period it’s ongoing,” Mackowiak said.

In a statement, an Austin police spokesperson said, “Enforcement continues to be focused on promoting voluntary compliance through education and outreach coupled with progressive enforcement.”

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