Tensions flared as traffic backed up in both directions on Commerce Boulevard.
DICKSON CITY, Pa. — A brand new Chick-fil-A opened its doors along Commerce Boulevard in Dickson City, and seemingly everyone, dogs and humans alike, wanted a piece of chicken.
Nanci Neeson showed up to wait in line with her dog Mack, who was anxiously waiting for the chicken nuggets he was promised; she plans to be a repeat customer.
“Oh my gosh, I’ll be here all the time, like three or four times a week,” Neeson said.
Scranton resident Jason Ardan was excited to see one of his favorite restaurants opening up close to his home.
He’s used to driving to Wilkes-Barre for Chick-fil-A.
“Before the one in Wilkes-Barre, it was down in Allentown, I think. I had to drive like an hour to go to that one. So this is a little easier, but today it’s tough,” Ardan said.
Traffic was heavy all day.
As Dickson City Police directed customers off of Commerce Boulevard, vehicles formed a line stretching all the way back to the movie theatres.
The department expanded shifts to help with the flow of cars.
“It’s not like we want to, but unfortunately, with something like this, we have to. It’s for the public’s safety. It’s in the best interest of the public, and we’re going to be here until things calm down a bit,” said William Bilinski, Dickson City Police Chief.
The chief estimated wait times in excess of two hours, but it didn’t deter the chicken lovers.
“I’m waiting. I’m waiting. I’m waiting, yep,” Neeson said.
“We’ll always be able to say I was here on the day that it opened, you know, ceremony,” added Ardan.
Things took a turn when officers left for the evening.
Traffic backed up in both directions on Commerce Boulevard, and overzealous customers attempting to turn or cut across from the Target parking lot, block the intersection, leading to tension.
Some even left their vehicles to voice their displeasure.
A Dickson City officer returned to the intersection several times to clear cars out of the intersection.
Neeson expects the wait times to stick around.
“I think it’s gonna be like this way for most of the time it’s open,” he said.
The hold-up and hot tempers was all in the name of a chicken sandwich.
The Dickson City Police chief says he expects to have officers back out here Friday and Saturday if needed.
They will, of course, get a break on Sunday because the restaurant is closed.
One borough official told me he hopes the restaurant does not cause continued traffic problems here, saying there should be enough space for customers to wait off of Commerce Boulevard.
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