On so many occasions, I've said "If someone had been away from Owensboro for 15 years and came back today, they wouldn't recognize Highway 54."

Business has boomed so quickly out that way and, therefore, so has the traffic. Those two topics will come up in my Ten Commandments of Highway 54.

1. Highway 54 is not the Indianapolis 500. There are something like nine traffic lights in a 2.4 mile stretch from The Springs to Thruston Dermont Road. That averages out to every quarter mile give or take. A lot of lights in a short distance. Proceed with caution.

2. If you can't think where that OTHER McDonald's, Taco Bell, Arby's, Subway, or Wendy's is in town, you're probably not thinking about the one on 54. They're probably all the newest locations.

3. At some point, it stops being Parrish Avenue and becomes Highway 54. When you're giving directions to friends and loved ones, keep that in mind.

4. It's difficult to remember when it was just a Pantry (no longer there), Builder's Discount Lumber (still there), and fields (gone and, well, mostly forgotten.)

5. It may be 13 years old(!), but that Walmart Supercenter is still the NEW Walmart.

6. Speaking of Arby's and McDonald's and all those businesses in front of Kohl's, you can't just turn off of 54 and get to them. And getting to the service roads you DO need isn't the easiest thing in the world, either.

7. You may THINK there isn't any room left to build anything on 54, but I bet you'd be WRONG!!

8. Gateway Commons is going to be SENSATIONAL, I feel. The traffic after it opens? Uh, maybe not so much.

9. Not everything on 54 is actually ON 54. It may be easy to say, and it may be the easiest way to get someone to a destination if you're giving directions. But if you tell them 54 and they, then, do a Google search and learn that it's really Commonwealth Court, Villa Point Drive, Alvey Park Drive, Hayden Road, or Highland Pointe Drive, wellll, you all can sort that out later.

10. Keep your phones zipped up in something and completely out of reach until you get to safety (that is to say, out of that 2.4 mile stretch). 54 doesn't afford ANYONE the luxury of taking a glance while stopped at a traffic light. Texting and driving should ALWAYS be avoided, of course. But on 54--like the Southeastern Conference--it just means more.

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