The restrictions had been in place due to a rising wave in crime on the South Side over the summer.By Jessica Guay

SOUTH SIDE (KDKA) — East Carson Street is a two-way street on weekend nights for the first time in weeks.

Pittsburgh’s South Side seems to be taking a turn in the right direction.

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“The street seemed to be busier than in prior weekends so happy to see it,” said Mark Albert Barbera, a tattoo artist at Inspire Body Art.

Vehicles could only travel one-way on East Carson Street on Friday and Saturday nights for several weeks. This week, Pittsburgh Public Safety pumped the brakes on their traffic restrictions that were put in place to ease congestion, improve pedestrian safety, and cut down on violence.

People who work at businesses on the busy street, including tattoo shops like Inspire Body Art, are hoping the normal traffic flow will drive up business.

“I’m hoping it’s busy down here. There’s so many great restaurants and small businesses, love to see it busy down here, so I just hope things go back to normal and more people will come and enjoy the nice Fall weather,” said Barbera.

Bar and restaurant workers are optimistic too. Tyler Luedy, a shift manager at Doce Taqueria, hopes people driving in both directions will see their taco sign and stop in.

“Just to increase business,” Luedy said.

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Parking on East Carson Street is still prohibited after 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. This applies between South 10th and 18th Streets. The city wants to keep the road clear for public safety vehicles.

“It’s really just college kids walking through. The traffic to me, I don’t see that much of a difference because most of the customers here are just walking in anyways. If we could park here, I’m sure we would get much more business,” said Luedy.

Workers hope violence issues don’t return and the two-way traffic will be permanent.

“Definitely hoping that people keep the tensions down. I think it was just summertime, everybody was a little excited to get back out after COVID but I think things will be back to business as usual down on the South Side,” Barbera said.

In a statement, city Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said, “The Department of Public Safety is pleased with the progress that has been made to increase safety on the South Side. As promised, we engaged in regular discussions with residents and businesses during this time to share ideas on the impact and effectiveness of the pilot program and the stepped-up enforcement. We thank everyone for their patience and participation in this effort. It wasn’t always easy to balance competing needs, but we are grateful for the partnerships that helped make this happen.”

Police said their increased presence in the area over the last four weekends has resulted in 12 arrests, one firearms-related arrest, one firearm seizure, 371 citations and towed 69 vehicles.

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The one-way traffic restriction was announced at the end of July. The changes were not in place at one point in August because a partially building collapsed on East Carson Street.