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Pittsburghers Have Mixed Reactions To Weekend Traffic Restrictions On East Carson Street

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The city's newest effort to reduce violence and large crowds on East Carson Street went into effect Friday night.

"Hopefully it relieves what's going on down here," said Britainy Geiger, an employee at Doce Taqueria.

Here's what drivers should expect on East Carson Street from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Vehicles can only go in one direction from South 10th to South 18th streets going toward the Birmingham Bridge.

South Side traffic changes
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Along that same stretch of East Carson Street, parking and deliveries are prohibited. Also, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft cannot pick people up.

Side streets from South 11th to South 17th streets are closed to traffic but residential permit holders are allowed to enter.

"It's maybe a response that seems necessary, but it's also going to affect the local folks more than the people coming in," said Sean Glass, a bartender at the Smiling Moose.

KDKA's Jessica Guay some confused drivers and people noticing their cars were getting towed on Friday night.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said they expected some hiccups on the first night with these new traffic changes but said they're trying to prevent a tragedy.

Pittsburgh Public Safety organized the traffic plans with PennDOT because of the rise in violence and concerns about overcrowded sidewalks and streets.

"We have to do something and have to do something in an urgent manner with the shootings over the past two weekends now. So we ask for the public's patience in this," said Hissrich.

People who visit, live, or work on the South Side didn't know what to expect. Some people are worried this will negatively impact residents and businesses.

"I could see people from other neighborhoods deciding to skip us because of this," said Glass.

Others believe this move is necessary and a turn in the right direction.

"Just for our safety as workers, I think that it's a really good idea and that it's going to keep people who live here, especially me, I live here and people who work here, very safe," said Geiger.

The city said traffic changes on East Carson Street will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Emergency vehicles and Port Authority buses are allowed to travel in both directions on East Carson Street.

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