Amazon vans departing a new staging lot outside an Amazon delivery station in Milford, Mass. Photo by Paris Martineau
July 8, 2021 6:00 AM PDT

MILFORD, MASS.—When the Amazon warehouse came to town in 2016, most residents of Milford, located 45 minutes from Boston, didn’t think much of it. The internet retailer submitted plans to city officials for a delivery station—essentially a post office exclusively for Amazon packages—that it wanted to open in a vacant warehouse on the east side of town. Amazon engineers downplayed the traffic impact on the surrounding area, saying in a meeting with town planners that it would be less disruptive than the humidifier manufacturer that had occupied the warehouse previously.

Soon after the delivery hub opened, though, hundreds of Amazon delivery vans began flooding the streets each day, moving in caravans of 50 to 100 vehicles that brought local traffic to a standstill and left nearby roads littered with trash and bottles of urine that residents blamed on Amazon drivers, according to local officials. Those vans, which The Information witnessed on a recent visit to the town, also compete for space on Milford’s aging roads with more than a hundred semitrucks a day hauling Amazon cargo. The trucks regularly cause property damage and noise complaints as they rumble through narrow intersections and down one-way residential streets.

In March, one of those semitrucks knocked over a fence and a large tree at a cemetery located across the street from a second Amazon facility that opened in Milford last year. A few weeks later, another semitruck hauling Amazon cargo accidentally drove into the cemetery itself, damaging a grave monument and two signs. Some Milford roads have become so clogged with truck traffic that the town in April began putting up signs that say “No Amazon Trucks” to deter drivers from using narrow streets and other areas where they get stuck.