Last minute holiday shoppers causing traffic jams

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -  If you've traveled near any of the shopping centers or strip malls in Madison County the past couple of days, you may have noticed it has taken longer to travel through those areas.

Drivers experienced traffic traveling both North and Southbound on Memorial Parkway, sometimes coming to a complete standstill throughout the day.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said most of this traffic is being caused by last minute holiday shoppers.

"You can probably rest assured up until the businesses close on Christmas Eve that there`s going to be a high volume of traffic," explained Lt. Donny Shaw. "Going to Bridge Street, Parkway Place Mall, going over to Jones Valley to our different business locations, its going to get congested in those areas."

Cars were lined up from Drake Avenue to Regal Drive where drivers could enter US-231.

The Madison County Sheriff's Office said law enforcement presence, especially Huntsville Police, has increased in high volume areas like shopping centers this holiday season.

"Huntsville Police Department has an initiative going on right now where they have more officers in shopping areas to watch over vehicles, watch the traffic and to have a presence to bring security to the people going out and shopping," said Shaw.

Local law enforcement is encouraging drivers to set aside travel time so that traffic doesn't create set backs in their schedules.

They are also reminding shoppers to secure all of those newly purchased items. They encourage people to store valuables and gifts out of sight both in vehicles and at home.

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