Controlled 'chaos' on Spring Street? Some still driving the wrong way after traffic change

This photo shows cars traveling the wrong way on the street to get around a bus Friday. (WCIV)

Traffic on Spring and Cannon Streets in downtown Charleston now officially flows in both directions. But is two-way traffic helping or hurting the area?

It depends on who you ask.

"I think change is good," said Donna Nylin, General Manager of Tiger Lily Florist on Spring Street. "We've seen a lot of backup on this particular intersection when there's multiple commercial vehicles on Spring Street."

But those behind the floral creations and presentations of Tiger Lily Florist are divided on thoughts of the traffic change.

"Chaos," said Heather Tharpe, Lead Daily Designer of Tiger Lily Florist.

Complete disorder and confusion? At one point, ABC News 4 crews spotted drivers going the wrong way down Spring Street to get around a city bus.

"There was almost a head-on collision right here. Right on Spring Street," Nylin said.

Business owners in the area say some of their vendors have been caught by surprise by the change and a simple, routine delivery has become a game of Operation.

"Lots of issues with big trucks. Some of our vendors are having to make concessions and parking in the street because they can't make that wide turn," Tharpe said of the Ashley Avenue and Spring Street interchange.

City officials say the previous traffic pattern on Spring and Cannon Streets started in 1967, according to city archives. The director of planning for Charleston says no one has filed a complaint about the change.

While it has presented some early difficulty and confusion for some, others in the area see the potential for long-term impact.

"I think it's kind of helping improve the flow of traffic," said Filip Aasiya-Bey, a barista at The Eclectic Cafe and Vinyl on Spring.

Officials say Charleston City Council first adopted the plan to transition Spring and Cannon Streets to a two-way traffic pattern in 1998. The city plans to repave and repaint the road after a one -onth trial period.

"It's kind of early on so it’s hard to gauge how this is really going to impact," Aasiya-Bey said. "But I think in the long run it’s going to be a successful improvement."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off