Downtown Austin crime pushes city to install 10ft fence along Red River alleyway
A Downtown Austin alleyway along Red River known to attract crime will be getting a physical barrier to keep people out of it.
On Wednesday, city staff with the Economic Development Department presented the Downtown Commission with some of the complaints about the alley from business owners.
The city is now searching for a contractor to put up a fence that’s “at least 10 feet” high at the front end of the alley way along Red River and at the back end along Waller Creek.
“You can see people dealing drugs, exchanging drugs for money, you can see fighting, people having sex, defecating, it’s terrible, it’s a third-world country back there,” said Dave Machinist, part owner of the Engine Control Room.
Machinist’s music venue along 7th Street backs up to the alleyway. In the past, he said he’s installed cameras that have been destroyed. City staff said police tried to fix the issue with lights but it only made the issue worse.
“That alleyway needs to be shut down, it should have been shut down over five years ago when we started complaining about it because it is the head of the drug and prostitution ring here in Austin,” said Luke Ackers of Hoboken Pie on Red River.
While gathering footage and interviews for this story, CBS Austin witnesses two people in a sexual act inside a cutaway along the alley in broad daylight.
“The fence will help, hopefully deter the crime in that specific area, but my biggest worry is it’s just going to travel to the other alleyways,” said Ackers.
A city spokesperson said the issue has become a public safety concern and the fence is a “solution that will provide the best outcome, if that changes we’ll look at other options.”