Amazon distribution center traffic woes frustrate drivers

Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-06 00:48:40-05

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.