The Drag needs a makeover. Badly. Whether it’s the smell of urine that pervades the abandoned storefronts between 24th and 25th or the trash lying around trash cans up and down the sidewalk, one would have to be blind to not think so.
The Austin Transportation Department is currently seeking feedback on how to improve the Drag and the University's City Relations Agency along with the new My Guadalupe student organization are encouraging students to provide their ideas to the city. Since the area is the dividing line between campus and the largely student-inhabited West Campus, the city should definitely focus on listening to and complying with input from students.
Urban Outfitters recently purchased the leases of 5 stores on the Drag — some with shattered windows, graffiti and homeless people sleeping in their entryways. Some have complained this expansion will diminish the "weirdness" of Austin by means of replacing Manjus and Mellow Mushroom. The fact is that the Drag is and has been pretty corporate for awhile, and any businesses willing to clean up the trashed storefronts are doing the University community a service.
Bounds is an associate editor.