WHITESTOWN (November 23, 2015) – The start of holiday shopping means the start of a traffic nightmare in Whitestown. That’s where Amazon has about 5,000 employees right now, in an area where only 5,500 people live.
“Twice as many cars during those peak hours, maybe a little more. It’s probably an addition for 15, 20 maybe even 30 minutes sometimes to your commute,” said Whitestown Town Manager Dax Norton.
Amazon is doubling up on employees for the holiday rush, so Whitestown officials are preparing for double the congestion on the roads.
“This will be the first year that we have the signalized intersection taking care of the majority of the traffic coming from the north to south from Amazon,” said Norton.
That intersection is on Whitestown Pkwy at Perry Rd.
“That will make a big difference on how that affects east west traffic on our biggest corridor, Whitestown Parkway,” said Norton. “Secondis we’ve put a bridge over fish back creek to the north, which is where Amazon is. That will be free Flow traffic, used to be a dead end.”
“Two to three years years ago it got really nuts when you had to go down Whitestown parkway and 334. Either going to work in the morning before 8 o’clock or coming home 5, 6 o’clock it would get really backed up. But last year there was a huge difference,” said Whitestown resident Matt Tenney.
There was a huge difference last year because Whitestown Police started directing traffic through the busiest intersections.
This year officers are trying something new. Instead of directing traffic, they’ll be manually changing the lights. There will also be additional officers to monitor the traffic flow.
“14 officers, I think there were 8 last year. Now Amazon pays for that. This is all paid for by the company. So tax dollars don’t go in to the traffic control because of their traffic so that’s a plus,” said Norton.
Whitestown officers will be controlling traffic during the peak hours, 4-8 in the morning and evening through Christmas Eve.
“There’s always a sense of gosh how bad is it going to be,” said Tenney. “But I’m hopeful that with all the stuff that’s come out about how hard they’re working on it that it’ll be like last year and not years prior.”