Austin: Safer Sixth Street
The Austin City Council wants to purchase thirteen more high-activity area surveillance cameras for the city’s Sixth Street entertainment district.
Part of the iconic Sixth Street is also closed to vehicles Thursday through Sunday nights.
These two strategies are part of a “Safer Sixth Street” initiative following a 2021 mass shooting in the entertainment district.
In 2021, a mass shooting the entertainment district killed one person and injured thirteen others. These cameras are intended to be part of a “Safer Sixth Street” initiative.
Privacy rights advocates are concerned although the “Austin American-Statesman” has reported that video data collection is often beneficial.
“Surveillance from a private security camera helped crack Austin’s serial bombing case.”
“Regardless,” the paper adds. “People leery of are missing the mark if they blame Big Brother, the privacy-invading symbol of totalitarianism in George Orwell’s famous novel, ‘1984.’”
Still, nightlife business owners are frustrated.
“Rainey Street is not shut down. West Street is not shut down and they’re flourishing. Those businesses are doing great,” says Jesse Fortney, owner of Gnar Bar on East 6th Street.
“Sixth Street is the only place that’s shut down.”
Photo of Burnside’s Tavern by Will Taylor of LostinAustin.org