A day after an all-day film shoot snarled uptown traffic, the Charlotte Department of Transportation said Wednesday it won’t approve any more rush-hour street closures for movie or TV productions unless “there is a compelling reason.”
The production company Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group received permission from CDOT to close part of South Tryon and Stonewall streets near the Duke Energy Center. The barricades went up about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday – just as thousands of commuters were trying to get to work.
In some cases, commuters sat for 30 to 60 minutes on South Tryon, College and Church streets in uptown, South Boulevard and other connecting streets. The intersection of Tryon and Stonewall remained closed all day, also affecting the evening rush hour.
The production company was filming “The Novice,” a series planned for the USA cable television network.
The city apologized for the traffic headaches Tuesday afternoon.
CDOT Director Danny Pleasant said he held a staff meeting Wednesday to determine what went wrong.
The city requires permits to be issued for street closures. In this instance, the permit was given verbally, over the phone. He said a staff member approved the closure for 7:30 a.m. without realizing the impact on traffic.
Pleasant said CDOT wants to continue to be accommodating to the film industry, which has come to the Charlotte area in part because of the state’s generous tax credits for TV and film productions.
“We figured we are doing 100 of these (film shoots on streets) a year,” Pleasant said. “Where people are filming, they are usually on minor streets. This is the first one that has blown up on us like this. We want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Pleasant said future approvals must be written down, though email could suffice.
“It’s harder to track down phone calls,” he said.
Pleasant said the production company paid for the services of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers who set up the barricades.
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