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UNIVERSITY PARK -- "Thank goodness for the circle drive," said Debbie Thompson, a Highland Park resident who lives right near the SMU campus and new George W. Bush Presidential Center.

"We've even had people ask -- we have a circular drive[way], and people want to pay to park in it," she said. "It's that bad."

SMU game days are busy enough, Thompson said. Now, with the Bush Center opening, the word "traffic" will take on a whole new meaning.


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The city even issued parking permits for several streets. Thompson's home is in the no-parking zone. The tow trucks will be waiting.

It's a tactic not just for traffic flow concerns for the 16,000 invitees, but for security.

"I guess we could worry about it, but there's not much we could do about it," Thompson said.

So she'll control what she can by being prepared.

"Definitely will be going to the grocery store to stock up before this happens," she said. "It's like a winter storm. You don't know how long you're going to be in your house."

The city has already put up flashing signs around town warning of traffic woes Thursday. Thompson said she will avoid Mockingbird Lane next to SMU at all costs.

But most of all, she hopes to take it all in, and enjoy the fact that she will be a witness to history.

"Maybe it's something we will tell our, at least one, grandchild stories about the day the Bush library opened," Thompson said.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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