Austin City Council approves second resolution to increase safety on Rainey Street

Once again, the City of Austin is working toward creating a safer Rainey Street Entertainment District. This comes after two bodies were found in Lady Bird Lake near Rainey Street within the last two months.

At the April 13 Austin City Council meeting, family of victims who disappeared or were found dead in the lake near Rainey Street begged the council to increase safety in that area once again, this time focusing on cameras.

"The installation of HALO cameras and permanent lighting is no longer an option," said Mitchell Gutierrez, brother of Martin Gutierrez who was found dead in the lake in 2018. "It's a necessity to provide answers for what is truly going on in the area."

Council listened and approved yet another resolution to increase safety in the Rainey Street District. The resolution was presented by Council Member Zo Qadri.

"It's almost like living Groundhog day," he said.

This is the second effort presented by Qadri to make Rainey Street safer. It started after Jason John's body was found in Lady Bird Lake in February, days after he disappeared heading home from Rainey Street.

Since then, another victim, Jonathan Honey, was recently found in the lake. This marks the second body found in less than two months.

"I was hoping that it wouldn't happen again, so hearing about Mr. Honey was just a punch in the gut," said Qadri.

The city has already added temporary fencing and lighting to the trail near the entertainment district with the goal of having something more permanent by the summer.

Now, the interim city manager is tasked with looking into a safety plan for the entertainment district that includes installing HALO cameras to the area and working with bars to prevent over-serving alcohol.

"There is something happening and I think that's why it's important to add these safety measures, making sure we're doing everything that we can to stop this from happening again," said Qadri.