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Black Friday shoppers need to plan for heavy traffic near Marysville

MARYSVILLE - It is not the busiest shopping day of the season, but the traffic around the malls and the crowding in the parking areas does come as quite a shock for many on Thanksgiving night and on Black Friday.

The Washington State Patrol, Tulalip Tribal Police and Marysville Police Department will be working together to ensure shoppers are traveling safely to and from their favorite shopping areas on Thanksgiving night, Friday, and remainder of the holiday weekend.

Motorists traveling on Interstate 5 in the Marysville/Arlington areas should anticipate congestion northbound and southbound on I-5 at 88th street (Exit 200) and 116th Street (Exit 202) and Exit 206 (Smokey Point). These roads lead to the busiest shopping areas in the north county area and are historically the heaviest traveled by shoppers. Local drivers should expect unusually high traffic volumes on surface streets leading up to and around the Shopping Centers late Thursday evening and Friday, according to Trooper Keith Leary, District 7 Public Information Officer for the Washington State Patrol.

In order to prevent collisions, drivers should have a plan prior to leaving, instead of being distracted while driving. Getting 50 percent off your favorite TV does no good if you get into a collision.

Here are a few tips:

• Avoid petty confrontations over parking spaces.

• Be courteous and patient as many other people want the same deal as you.

• Tempers can run high and patience short as drivers circle the parking lot in search of an empty parking space.

• Outlying parking lots normally have more open spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision.

• Keep packages hidden from view if you are making multiple trips in and out of stores then putting the items in your car.

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