Robbinsville taking a tough line with Amazon after nightmare traffic
The drama and traffic gridlock surrounding Amazon's distribution center in Robbinsville has dissipated over the past couple weeks, but the town's mayor says the story isn't over.
In an interview with New Jersey 101.5, Mayor Dave Fried said while staggered shifts have helped alleviate the nightmarish traffic conditions for local residents and business park employees, the tweak was only a temporary fix, and a more permanent solution is needed so officials aren't dealing with the same issue every holiday season.
His ultimatum for Amazon: reduce the number of trips you make each day, or contribute to major infrastructure changes in the area.
An agreement made in 2012 holds Amazon to 1,000 trips in and out of the warehouse each day, but the trips have grown to four times that amount in recent weeks, Fried said.
If infrastructure improvements are the answer, Fried said he hopes to have "shovels in the ground by spring."
"The challenge now is making sure that we get all of our traffic engineers to agree on the solution," Fried said. "I think we're going to have to add at least one more lane inside the park so we can get people coming in and out of the park easily."
Fried met with local and county engineers on Wednesday, along with Amazon staff members.
"I think everyone understands that it's a serious situation," he said.
As for the cost of the project, Fried said he hopes the town, county and state are willing to pitch in, but it's ultimately Amazon's responsibility.
Amazon would not comment on the latest meeting, but pointed us to a letter sent from the center's director of operations to the mayor on Dec. 3.
"Amazon will monitor the current changes to ensure improved traffic flow and continue to work with your office and the local police department to seek additional changes we could make to improve the overall traffic flow," the letter read. "If any further issues arise, please direct them to my attention and we will attempt to take further measures, as appropriate."