This back road could help you navigate Paducah on Black Friday

PADUCAH, KY – If you are driving through the mall area in Paducah for Black Friday shopping, don’t forget about the back way through the Olivet Church Road extension.

People usually get off Interstate 24 at Exit 4 to get to the mall and shopping area, but Olivet Church Road can also take you there by using Exit 3 with less traffic. It connects Hinkleville Road to Exit 3.

The extension of Olivet Church Road wasn’t there last holiday season, so police are expecting it to make your travel much easier this time around.

For many, it’s the happiest time of year.

“It’s the holiday time, you know? Lots of good food. That’s my favorite part,” said Paducah Police Officer Gretchen Morgan. “Usually everybody is in pretty good spirits, so it’s nice to see people out enjoying time with their family.”

Until an accident happens. Morgan stops to help, asking “Everybody okay? Anybody hurt?”

“This girl motioned me to come in. It was clear and then,” said the woman driving the car. She said the turn was clear until it wasn’t, and it was too late.

“This is something that commonly happens out here,” said Morgan. “When you’re crossing traffic and you get waved across, there is always a second lane that you maybe can’t see.”

And getting cut off is common, too, even if you are in a marked police car.  “See, prime example right here. He’s trying to get across, but can’t see these other lanes,” Morgan said.

Within 20 minutes of driving around the mall area, we saw an accident and a near miss.

Morgan said you should give yourself extra time to get where your going. “Even on a regular day, it is fairly busy. This is probably our highest traffic area in the city.”

Especially in the shopping mall parking lot, be careful. Stores even hire law enforcement to alleviate some of the tension that happens on Black Friday and the holiday weekend.

“It does get kinda crazy on black Friday,” Morgan said.

If you take the back road, there is a 25 miles an hour speed limit. Morgan said there will be police in the area.

Buckle up, be patient, and don’t be distracted while driving.

The shopping area around Kentucky Oaks Mall will be developing even more in the new year. Starbucks has confirmed they are building a new store outside the mall that will open in the first quarter of 2018.

The leasing company that owns the mall tells us a deal has been made and a new store will take over the empty Sears space, but we haven’t been able to get them to release any more information at this time.

You can find out more information about this story and others by following Leah Shields on Facebook and Twitter.

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