WHITESTOWN, Ind. (WISH) — The holiday shopping season is arriving, and for many people, that means ordering plenty of gifts online through retailers like Amazon.
The increase in ordering has a big impact on Whitestown traffic, where Amazon has a major fulfillment center.
This time of year thousands of temporary workers are hired by Amazon; enough to actually double the number of cars on the road in Whitestown.
The police department has spent years honing its strategy to manage all those extra vehicles.
“It’s just a lot of extra cars on the road during peak traffic times,” Whitestown Police Lt. Scott Rolston said.
Starting next week, the main traffic light by Amazon’s fulfillment center will get much busier.
“Amazon traffic is coming and going throughout the times of 5 to 7 a.m. and p.m.,” Rolston said.
It is so busy, that each year Amazon works with the Whitestown Police Department to manage the flow of employees coming to and leaving work.
“If we weren’t out there, the delays would be absolutely horrendous,” Rolston noted.
Rolston said the strategy they have in place is working, but it’s getting beefed up this year.
“Amazon gave us five additional officers this year,” he said. “We’ve always used eight in the past and this year we have 13.”
In addition to more officers, a new route has been added for vehicles to leave the parking lots.
Albert S. White Blvd. has been extended all the way east to Main St.
There’s also an updated connection at Perry Worth Rd., which leads south from the Amazon complex to Whitestown Parkway.
“It’s been pushed a little bit further from the interstate, as well as put up a new traffic light, so that should alleviate some problems we’ve seen in the past,” Rolston said.
Rolston warns though, even with all the planning, there will be delays.
“It’s roughly 5000 extra vehicles coming and going and it’s the same time as normal traffic,” he said.
They’re just hoping the changes made over time will help make it as painless as possible.
The officers will start managing traffic and controlling lights in that area November 23 through Christmas Eve.