The Drag began as a strip of shops which provided vital resources to UT students. Bookstores, restaurants, and clothing stores fulfilled student needs. The proximity to campus, particularly the Main Building and the Union Building, added to the popularity of the street.
Past and present buildings on the Drag include the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, Raul's, Captain Quackenbush's Intergalactic Espresso and Dessert Company, Record Exchange (later renamed Sound Exchange at the NW corner of 21st Street), Hastings Music and Video (directly across from the West Mall and Student Union), Bevo's Bookstore, Urban Outfitters (at the SW corner of 24th Street), Varsity Theater which became Tower Records, Kerbey Lane Cafe, The Bazaar, Texadelphia, Dobie Mall, Goodall Wooten private dormitory, the University Baptist Church, and the University Co-op.
The Drag is considered an important part of Austin's civic life, but for many years many Austinites avoided it because of congestion. The area had fallen into disrepair, and some felt the area had become undesirable because of the presence of panhandlers known as "Dragworms", or more recently as "Dragrats."
A project under the proposed Corridor Mobility Program (created under the 2016 Austin Mobility Bond approved by voters) would convert Guadalupe along the Drag from four travel lanes with discontinuous bike lanes, to three travel lanes (one being a dedicated turning lane), two dedicated transit lanes, and two continuous bike lanes. This project is projected to reduce CapMetro travel time through the corridor by up to three minutes. The project would also improve the surrounding streets in the West Campus neighborhood. Implementation of the Capital MetroRail Orange Line may remove private cars entirely off of Guadalupe Street.
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The 91-room Goodall Wooten, nicknamed "The Woo", was a privately-operated dormitory building, built in 1956, that was not affiliated in any way with the university administration. By the late 2010s rents were relatively inexpensive compared to other area student housing. In 2018 it had about 60 residents; that year they were forced to leave. American Campus Communities purchased the buildings and had anticipated developing a new dormitory building.
- About6street.com, The Drag Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 2008-01-02.
- "The Drag on Guadalupe Street, Austin (Drag Worm; Drag Rat)". Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "The Drag". Austin Now. KLRU. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
- "GUADALUPE STREET CORRIDOR AND WEST CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT REPORT" (PDF). austintexas.gov. November 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- Karacostas, Chase (5 December 2017). "City releases Guadalupe Street improvement recommendations". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- "MOBILITY, SAFETY, AND CONNECTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS" (PDF). Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- Aleman, Christian (December 9, 2021). "New Austin light-rail project could remove cars from The Drag". KVUE. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
- Widner, Sidney (2018-05-10). "Affordable private dorm by University of Texas closes after 62 years". Curbed. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
- Karacostas, Chase (2018-04-25). "Residents of Goodall Wooten dormitory told they must leave by May 16". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
- Huber, Mary (2018-04-27). "The Drag's Goodall Wooten residents told to vacate after dorm's sale". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
- Hasan, Syeda (2018-05-09). "Goodall Wooten Residents Pack Up As Dorm Prepares To Close". KUT. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
- Sherry, Elexa (2019-03-11). "American Campus has plans to redevelop former Goodall Wooten building into new student housing". The Daily Texan. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
- UT and the Drag travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Guadalupe Street, Guide to Texas Outside. Photos from the history of Guadalupe Street.