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Amazon distribution center traffic woes frustrate drivers

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — Some people say they have gotten stuck for two hours trying to get in and out of the Amazon distribution center parking lot in Chester.

“It was horrible,” said Christina Cantrell, who recently experienced a big delay when she dropped her son off to work at the distribution center. “It was crazy.”

When she tried to leave, Cantrell said she got trapped for nearly two hours in a line of vehicles. At one point, Cantrell said other drivers started screaming and cursing out security guards.

Cantrell also worries about emergency vehicles trying to gain access the facility.

“If there was any kind of mass incident, fire or anything, those people in that parking lot,” Cantrell said. “It would be a nightmare trying to get EMS, police and the fire department into that facility to help anybody.”

After three crashes have been reported near the vicinity, Cantrell is calling upon the online giant to come up with a solution soon.

“When you add stress, upon stress. You know anybody could snap at any time. It doesn’t take a whole lot,”  said Cantrell said.

While driving around the center, CBS 6 noticed two of the four entrance and exits into the parking lot are closed, which could be part of the problem.

However, Chesterfield police said the heavy congestion was exacerbated when Amazon recently hired several thousand extra employees for the holiday rush.

Chesterfield police said they are working with Amazon and VDOT to come up with a way to ease the congestion.

A spokesperson with VDOT said it may come down to installing a traffic signal in the area.

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13 comments

  • toni

    oh shuuuuut up and move just don’t delay my xmas shipment,ok?amazon shipping rules and I don’t need whiners like you messing it up.thanks in advance

  • CB

    Who does this chick think she is? She doesn’t even work there. Yes, it does add time to my commute, but I (and many others) am happy and proud to work for this extremely successful company. The entire community should be thankful Amazon decided to come to the Richmond area. The limited entrances and one exit strategy does work better than just letting thousands of people have a free-for-all….that would be a nightmare.
    Any employees that can’t handle extra time added to their commute can resign any time they choose
    I live 25 minutes away but must leave my residence 1 hour 20 minutes before start of shift to ensure I am not late. I can generally bank on sitting in traffic for 30 minutes to get in the lot and the same getting out. That’s ok…it’s my job…and I’m thankful for the opportunity to have it.

  • CB

    Oh, and I wanted to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Chesterfield Police and the private parking service who stand out in the cold and rain to make sure we get in and out safely and as fast as possible. You should not have to deal with some of the abuse you’re getting…it’s embarrasing.
    YOU ROCK!

  • A

    It is a lot better than last year at this time… last year at this time the Eon Church Rd was closed so it was one way in and one way out. The parking lot wasn’t completed. Short security staff. and many other problems …. At least, they are directing traffic and into parking spaces…. it has vastly improved since last year!

  • Daka

    Hmmm…I live near an Amazon distribution Center in PA. At this time of year, they open the extra gates and hire people to direct traffic. What a concept

  • shannonthefinger

    I live adjacent to the warehouse. I am trapped at home every evening from 5pm to 7pm during amazons shift change. The people leaving, the employees do not seem to know how to drive. There’s a yield for them to abide when entering a roundabout, which they do not. It will take a fatality on the part of an amazon employee before things change. Amazon’s employees are not representing their company very well to the citizens of Enon especially with the use of drugs and alcohol consumption in their parking lots.

    • ts

      How do youactually kno thst associates are using drugs & alcohol on the premises. Sorry that you b stuck in your home, but atleast these people have a job, they could b out here commitin crimes or selling drugs. Amazon is not responsible for wat their assocites do once they get off the clock.

      • scars

        Well, if they are the type of people who would be out selling drugs if they didn’t have this job, I think it is pretty safe to assume that there is a good chance that they are doing drugs in their cars, lol. Although I find it hard to believe that they would be able to do drugs or drink in their cars with so many potential witnesses and security guards around. If Amazon is allowing that, they need to get it together or else they’ll be liable if an accident occurs as a result of it.

      • shannon

        To be honest, I don’t feel obligated revealing my source to someone who lacks grammar/spelling skills.I have a few faults in your argument:
        1. What happens in Amazon’s parking lots IS their responsibility. Just as a person hosting a party is responsible for those drinking. That’s basic legal knowledge, Jack.
        2.If they are doing drugs in the parking lot off the clock, they ARE still commiting crimes in the eyes of the law.
        3. You seem as though you feel I do not have a job. This is another matter of your incorrectness.
        4. You seem to think I have no idea what I’m talking about. This saddens me as it is even more apparent that the Amazon employees truly think of no one but themselves.

        To the person talking about “if we go any slower”, take into consideration that you are driving in a RESIDENTIAL area, where people are crossing the roads, jogging and children might be playing. Your speeding is neglect on your part, that’s why the speed limit is 35.

  • M

    Chesterfield was only interested in how much money they could make off Amazon when they did the site planning. They sold the right-of -way to them and screwed all the residents and other workers in the area. Chesterfield could lower taxes with how much they make from traffic violations from the no driving amazon employees right now, not just on Enon Church but all the way down Rt. 10. The good news is in a few weeks, all those temps will be laid off and things will get back to normal… until next year.

  • ts

    I believe the way that Amazon is handling the parking lot is GREAT. Yes when we do shift change it may take some time & have traffic backed up, but wat more do you expect when you have about 7000 people trying to leave or arrive to work. If you worked at Amazon last year you would kno how much of a hassle it was. Yes the associates do drive fast, but if the drove any slower it would keep you traped in your home longer. You all should be happy that Amazon decided to come here to give people a place to work, if it wasnt for them alot of people would b out of jobs, even if it was only gor tgr holiday season. You can not comment on sethimg you kno nothing about.

  • scars

    Well, if the spelling and grammar of some of the posters who work for Amazon is indicative of their driving abilities, it is no wonder that traffic is such a mess. Yes, people should be grateful to be employed, but those not employed by Amazon should not have to face a huge increase in their commute time. The blame really should be placed upon the county officials. They are responsible for planning for traffic and it should have occurred to them that there would be a need for a traffic signal and other solutions to deal with this, especially since this is not the first year that this has happened. They knew it was coming and prefer to make people suffer rather than spend a dime to fix a problem for which they are responsible.

  • Dave Rawlings

    My only comment on this story is that the voice over journalist has a poor grasp on the English language – the word is “regardless” not “regartless.”

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