The driver of a black pickup drives in the wrong lane on Jefferson Avenue toward traffic (which is stopped to turn left into 7 Brew) at about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. (Photo by Steve Pokin)

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To my untrained eye, when traffic is so bad you've got a guy in a pickup driving in the wrong lane along Jefferson Avenue because of 7 Brew Coffee traffic you've got yourself a Problem.

With a capital “P.”

That rhymes with “T.”

And that stands for “Traffic.”

Right here in Queen City.

I drove to the 7 Brew coffee shop at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, not expecting to see traffic chaos. That's because I generally think of coffee as a beverage best enjoyed earlier in the day.

But I did see traffic chaos. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing this.

After a planning-approval history filled with concern over potential traffic problems, the 7 Brew business officially opened Monday morning at the southeast corner of Sunshine Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Traffic is backed up on northbound Jefferson Avenue, at the 7 Brew, at about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. (Photo by Steve Pokin)

That same evening, Springfield City Councilman Craig Hosmer described what he viewed as a potentially dangerous traffic situation at the site. He spoke at Monday evening's City Council Meeting.

Dan Smith, Springfield public works director, responded to Hosmer's concern.

If things don't get better, there are possible solutions

“It takes a few days for things to normalize,” Smith said. “We anticipate a higher volume at first and what it might turn into. We do have some thoughts that came up during the rezoning as to improvements that could be done — not very expensive to do them — that could help with traffic issues should they occur.”

Well, they're occurring.

I saw a man driving a black pickup northbound in the wrong lane on two-lane Jefferson. I would call that a traffic problem occurring.

Traffic was backed up on northbound Jefferson.

I'm sure not everyone stuck was there for that Cloud 9 Matcha Latte, which I think is a subspecies of “coffee.”

The scofflaw in the pickup returned to his legal lane once clearing the entry to the business's three drive-thru lanes.

Workers take orders in the drive-thru lanes at 7 Brew on Tuesday, April 23. (Photo by Steve Pokin)

To its credit, 7 Brew had several people outdoors in the lanes taking orders.

Still, traffic was a nightmare.

Doesn't take much for traffic to back up onto Sunshine

Cars were backed up on eastbound Sunshine with drivers intent on turning right onto Jefferson.

It does not help matters that the entry into 7 Brew is only about 50 yards south of Sunshine — which means it doesn't take much for traffic to back up onto Sunshine, a major thoroughfare where I don't believe many drivers expect stopped traffic.

People were fully expressing their First Amendment right to honk their horns.

This photo looks south on Jefferson Avenue, on the north side of Sunshine. The driver of the car in front of columnist Steve Pokin changes lanes (for the most part) to avoid the traffic nightmare that awaits on the other side of Sunshine. (Photo by Steve Pokin)

I got there by driving south on Jefferson Avenue. A driver in front of me — stopped at the light on the north side of Sunshine — was backing up, toward me, to get into the left-turn lane to avoid the nightmare that awaited him should he not alter his course.

“We will definitely keep an eye on it because we don't want a safety issue to exist,” Smith told Hosmer. “If we feel like it's going to be an issue, we'll take some steps to address it.”

One option, according to City Manager Jason Gage, is to construct a median near the business. He did not elaborate where it would go.

Plans for this 7 Brew were debated and revised and challenged. Colleague Rance Burger wrote about it in July 13, 2022.

Abe McGull, in hindsight, seems prophetic

Residents worried about — you guessed it! — traffic. As well as noise. Some worried about the coffee shop's proximity to Sunshine Elementary School, which is on the north side of Sunshine Street across from 7 Brew.

Proponents said the business would produce sales tax revenue to Springfield and add 40 to 50 jobs to the economy. The builder added 14 trees to the landscaping to try to buffer noise and lights from the coffee shop to surrounding homes.

In my view, no one should be surprised there are traffic problems. Least of all Zone 2 City Councilman Abe McGull, who in hindsight seems prophetic.

McGull is quoted in that July 2022 story as expressing concern about the short distance from Sunshine Street to the drive-thru entrance on Jefferson Avenue.

“That seems kind of small for that flow of business in there,” McGull said back then.

McGull even noted Springfield’s “Chicken Strip,” a traffic snarl near Sunshine and South Campbell Avenue that includes a Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chick-fil-A, and Raising Cane’s.

“My experience with Springfieldians — they will block an intersection,” McGull said back in 2022. “You know, people are supposed to not block an intersection for you to turn in; they will block it. So what you create then is a stacking up of those who want to turn left into this parking lot and they can’t get in.”

Well, guess what?

This is Pokin Around column No. 178.

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Hauxeda. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin