FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — We’re just five days away from Ikea’s grand opening in Fishers.
But, can the roads handle more cars and traffic? 24-Hour News 8 spent Friday hitting the streets, taking the pulse of the community.
The city said it’s absolutely ready and able. But people who live in the area are concerned.
The parking lot was packed during newly opened Portillo’s lunch rush Friday afternoon. It was just a taste of increased traffic that could come to the Fishers area when Ikea furniture store opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday and nearby Topgolf opens sometime later.
Robin Eger, of Noblesville, said, “Fishers is crazy. The traffic is crazy here, so I’m not coming on the first day.”
Robin and Dan Eger are excited for Ikea. Robin’s just not too eager at the thought of more traffic.
Robin Eger said, “I would guess it’s just going to get worse.”
Jeff Hill, the Fishers city engineer, said the city is ready. “Absolutely. The city has made major investments in infrastructure in and around the I-69 area.”
Hill pointed to the widened 116th Street exit on Interstate 69, finished earlier this year, and the 106th Street roundabout finished last year. Both projects were done with big business in mind.
Hill said, “It’s well-timed and well-placed to help accommodate those additional trips we’re gonna see to Ikea or Topgolf or anyone.”
The city expects higher traffic for the first two or three weeks after Ikea opens. But they’re using traffic flow tools they followed at Ikea’s opening in Columbus, Ohio.
Hill said, “Funneling them into the site with easy right turns into the site, then right turns as you leave; funneling folks to the south.”
People around the area, though, are waiting to see how traffic pans out.
Jared Burris, of Fishers, said, “It will definitely be a big mess for a few weeks.”
Dan Eger, of Noblesville, said, “I think the traffic circles help. They take some getting used to.”
Bottom line, the city said, if you don’t want to come out here on the first day or couple days that Ikea is open, you don’t have to. They’ll be here for a long time; you can always come back.