Why is Austin Avenue So Narrow Now?

WHY IS AUSTIN AVENUE SO NARROW NOW?

When you look at old photos of Austin Avenue, one of the first things you notice is how WIDE the street is. You usually see four lanes of traffic, with two additional parking lanes. Today, the street is much more narrow. But these present-day photos of the much-widened sidewalks let us know where the street went. These sidewalk extensions on both side of Austin Avenue, along with the trees that now line the street, really narrows Austin between Ninth and Third Steet. I believe this is a result of converting Austin Avenue back to a regular street in 1986 after the infamous Pedestrian Mall that was created in the 1970s. In the last photo, you can see that, west of Ninth Street, it’s back to the wide street that we all grew up with.

This photo highlights the original sidewalk and the brick extensions that reduced the width of the street. These are on both sides of Austin Avenue.
This photo highlights the original sidewalk and the brick extensions that reduced the width of the street. These are on both sides of Austin Avenue.
Photo from Google Earth.

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