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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Red River hours to become permanent?
Monday, April 23, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano
With a whole four days to spare, City Council will decide Thursday on a measure to make later weekend noise curfews in the Red River Cultural District a permanent feature of city code. Thursday’s agenda item comes barely ahead of the April 30 sunset of the second six-month pilot program for the district, which was created to increase the revenue of the five nightclubs in the district with outdoor stages. Merchants in the area began campaigning for the later hours in late 2016 because existing noise curfews there prevented those businesses from capitalizing on the tendencies of weekend bargoers to drink late into the night, i.e., after concerts had to be completed. The first pilot program went into effect last spring and was extended in the fall, and studies throughout the 12 months have shown increases in revenue, employee pay, and money and bookings made by local musicians. It is expected that making the later noise limits permanent will have an even greater long-term effect for local music because clubs will be able to program their calendars several months ahead with the later hours in mind. Noise studies performed by the city’s Music and Entertainment Division found no measurable increase in noise disturbances or crime increase relevant to later hours. The Austin Music Commission voted this month to recommend Council make the later noise curfews permanent.
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