King Street foot traffic back to pre-pandemic levels

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The City of Charleston is using data from cell phones to track how many people are shopping and dining on King Street.

An area of King Street from Spring Street to Broad Street is monitored through a program called Placer, which tracks the number of phones that ping on a certain tower.

The city’s findings indicate that foot traffic has risen back to pre-pandemic levels.

City of Charleston Director of Business and Neighborhood Services, Meg Thompson, says that the most recent peak in activity was on Friday June 25 when almost 29,000 visitors came to King Street. The city is using the data to help plan for crowd management.

“We know that we see these high peaks every month or at certain times of the week,” said Thompson. “We can plan for those in terms of clean-up, policing, all those kinds of city services and plan around those.”

Local businesses are also benefitting from the increase in visitors.

Annie Burton, a sales associate at Salisbury and Manus, says that they’ve seen an uptick in business in the past few months.

“It’s been picking up definitely, so we just opened up in November of this past year so in the midst of the pandemic so we kind went through it for awhile,” said Burton.

After the slow struggle through the pandemic, businesses like Salisbury and Manus are hoping King Street is ready for a big rebound.

“Everybody’s just eager to travel and eager to get back to Charleston which is one of the greatest cities,” said Burton. “I think this street has a lot to offer and hopefully these businesses can strive.”

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