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Posted on Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

City Council approves modified plan to close Main Street during Michigan football games

By Ryan J. Stanton


This map shows the University of Michigan's plan for creating a vehicle-free zone around Michigan Stadium during football games. The red lines represent hard closures with police barricades, the blue lines represent soft closures with police allowing controlled local traffic, the yellow lines represent soft closures, and the pink areas represent street closures.

University Planner's Office

Ann Arbor City Council members Thursday night approved a modified plan for closing part of Main Street during University of Michigan football games this fall.

Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto presented the plan that instead of shutting down all lanes from Stadium to Pauline starting three hours before each game would keep southbound lanes open until one hour before game time.


Melissa Overton, the University of Michigan's deputy chief of police, and Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto appear before the City Council on Thursday.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"That was mainly due to the fact that we heard suggestions that three hours was perhaps too long and there would be issues with residents getting into the neighborhoods for residential lawn parking," he said. "I felt this was a reasonable modification to address some of those concerns."

Seto said he also has decided there will be additional signs to make it clear to people that residential lawn parking is open.

He stressed that the street closure plan should not affect post-game traffic because Main Street would reopen at the end of each game.

The City Council voted 7-4 in favor of the revised plan, with Sabra Briere, Marcia Higgins, Sumi Kailasapathy and Margie Teall still not convinced.

"I'm going to respect all of my constituents who have asked us not to do this," Higgins said. "It impacts them tremendously."

Melissa Overton, the university's deputy chief of police, said several football stadiums close streets around their stadiums during games, including Ohio State and Wisconsin.

A representative from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said thousands of people could be killed if a vehicle bomb were to detonate right outside the Big House on Main Street.

Council Member Chuck Warpehoski, D-5th Ward, said he thinks the chances of a terrorist attack are slim, but he can't help but wonder: "What if I'm wrong?"

Seto said the university, which proposed the street closure earlier this summer, would pay for extra police presence required. He said police will be evaluating the street closure after every game to see how well it's working.

The council requested that Seto conduct an evaluation after the first three games, hold another community meeting, and if there are issues to address, present recommendations Oct. 7.

"There are some things we know from a previous street closure in 2011, and some things I don't know, but I'm confident we can try to address those as they come up," Seto said.

The first home football game is Aug. 31.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

"A representative from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said thousands of people could be killed if a vehicle bomb were to detonate right outside the Big House on Main Street." Ummm, what about Stadium Blvd? A terrorist couldn't detonate a vehicle bomb on Stadium instead with the same or similar results. And what about after the game if Main is open. There are still large crowds crossing Main then. This decision really doesn't make it much safer for people.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

This is why we need a city income tax. University employees who do not live in the city but impact our resources and inconvenience our daily routines need to give property owners a break from footing the bill. Stephen Kunselman needs to start representing property owners instead following of the U of M.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

I think it is a bigger sign of the times that there are so many commenters lamenting the "loss of freedom" from closing the street than actually having to close the street because of a terror threat is. It is closing a street for a few hours on gameday for public safety, folks; not taking away your liberty. The "terrorists win" argument is laughable. Do terrosists win because of airport security? Do burglars win because you lock your house when you leave? The "this won't prevent the possibility of terrorism" argument is also flawed. This is meant to avert someone easily committing an act that would be catastrophic. It is common sense. But then again, common sense is not all that common it seems.

E Claire

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

posters who hate the U or are jealous for some reason are just using this as an excuse to bash.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

Yep, Safety first. And when you have no freedoms left in the name of safety, do not be surprised.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

I think that safety is the most important issue here.

Terry Reilly

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 11:02 a.m.

Fine with me. I'll take Packard home anyhow.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:41 p.m.

It was a different time. Residents around the stadium expected the usual disruptions, enjoyed some extra income from lawn parking, and had a great place to meet and greet for a tailgate and pre/post game parties. A lot of folks even bought a house around the stadium just for that experience. They still have most of that, with some changes in scheduling. These are changes that should have come immediately after 9/11. The perimeter around the stadium is too narrow to still allow vehicle traffic (including trucks or RVs during the games), no chicanes to slow any VBIED attacks in such vehicles, and too many people (consistently advertised as such on national TV) at the right place and the right time for a castrophic event. Will this stop someone with a backpack? No. Will it stop a Winnebago or a rental truck backed to the gills with ammonium nitrate? Yes, with proper vehicle bullards-blockage along Main. Which one would you want to be relativley near when it/they go off? Let's not be another Oklahoma City folks. And for those carping, I suggest you try a little google and see what other cities, pro teams, and other venues have done or changed since 9/11 (or simply fly on a plane). It's about time.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

No one is saying domes grye, just common sense on six-eight of the largest public events held each fall. And as recent events have shown - or even as far back to Oklahoma City, it does not take a "swarm".


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 3:26 a.m.

A dome. We need to put the city in a dome. We will then be safe and secure.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 3:23 a.m.

Why stop at the stadium? Can't we do even more to make Ann Arbor the " ultimate green zone" to protect us against the swarms of terrorists waiting at the city limits to rain horrible things upon us?


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

Interesting... Understanding this is not "pleasant", but if you'd like to expound beyond a "thumbs down" - obviously feel free to do so...


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

well well imagine that.Whatever Uni M wants it gets.Simple as that. You really think this will stop a terrorist attack?Only in you most wild most delusional dreams. And the city gets what from Uni M?Let me guess.NOTHING!

E Claire

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

What we get is our city. Do you think we'd be more than another Dexter (or smaller) without the U? Do you seriously not understand the benefits that we have due to the University being located here? Really, do you not see it?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

I applaud this move.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

I can't wait to see what other changes U of M gets their Puppet Mayor to make while he still controls a majority of the city council.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

I am surprised at the negative reaction to this. I think city council made the right decision and had no choice, just four months after the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon. That incident pointed out to the entire nation that from now on, events that draw a large number of people are terrorist targets. It is well known nation wide that UM stadium, the Big House, is the largest crowd on football Saturdays and thus it has to be considered as a prime target. Also this issue came from Homeland Security, not the UM so it would be utter stupid for the UM to not forward this concern to the city rather than dismiss it as minor, stupid and unnecessary. And it would be stupid for city council to ignore it as well.

E Claire

Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

should have said "they" hate the U. "You" obviously get it.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Yeah, right...a modified plan that only benefits UM. Residents always lose Did anyone discuss the discontinuation of those airplanes flying above the stadium 1 hour prior to those games and afterwards as part of the Homeland Security Safety plan? If these planes are flying above prior to and after the game with pedestrians during this road closure time frame wouldn't that defeat the purpose of security? If these planes are allowed to fly then this plan is a farce of security. A better plan would to also discontinue the flight and demolish the section of the stadium that are too close to the road. Hopefully, this comment appeases the impartial media of Ann Arbor.

Gretchen Ridenour

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

As I stated yesterday: If this was truly about safety the road closures would have happened in 2001. I'm sure that DHS has more pressing issues than UM football 12 years after our nation was attacked. Closing the streets to provide extra "security" is really about the University expanding the stadium too close to the street. According to the CDC, in 2010 there were 2,468,435 deaths in the US, with 88,021 in Michigan. According to The Heritage Foundation there were 5586 deaths resulting from terror attacks against the US between 1969 and 2009. Compare 5586 US deaths over 40 years to 88,021 Michigan deaths in 2010. In 1 year 23,326 people in Michigan alone died of heart disease and 20,620 died from cancer. We need to keep the need to close the streets around Michigan Stadium on game day in perspective. Otherwise we might need bubble wrap to protect ourselves from the 3770 accidental deaths in Michigan in 2010 (ie: 1051 motor vehicle accidents, 831 falls, 610 homicide, etc). We might need to outlaw alcohol since there were 928 alcohol induced deaths. We might need to outlaw use of pools, lakes and rivers to prevent 108 drownings. If we live our lives in fear of what may, but is not likely, to happen, then the terorrists win.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Your interpretation implies that we need not implement safety measures for any potential fatality sources whose statistics don't rank on the order of the highest sources. Obviously the loss of opportunity and freedom must be weighed against any measure. So for one thing, perhaps your statements about outlawing pools, etc. seem silly. Additionally, your interpretation assumes that accidental fatality follows a statistical pattern over time no different than that of large scale atrocities committed man. Perhaps you should consider an example from the last century; in particular, I'm thinking about the 20s and 30s, and the events that followed in the 40s.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Nicely put Gretchen


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

Will Homeland Security now recommend closing down the roads around Tiger Stadium, Ford Field, Joe Louis and the Palace In Auburn Hills on event days? I think this was all for the game day enhancement and enjoyment of the UM football fans. Road closures would have been proposed post 9/11 if cause for alarm was real.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

The roads around Ford Field are already shut down on game days. But not at CoPa.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

I would love to read the comments on if the University was not taking this measure, and if a truck bomb DID detonate outside of the stadium. To all of the people that think that it would never happen inside of the bubble of Ann Arbor, wake up. On any home football game there are more people in one area than any place in the entire world, at that exact time. Besides the fact that it could hinder a terrorist attack that could kill thousands, it is also going to improve pedestrian safety. To all of the people that live by the stadium and are complaining about this, unless you bought your house in 1926, before the stadium was built, the handful of Football Saturdays are something that you knew about when you bought your house.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 11:26 a.m.

" On any home football game there are more people in one area than any place in the entire world ..." The arrogance and ignorance of UofM fans never ceases to amaze me. There are many venues around the world that seat more than the big house. Why, just a few hours away, in Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway seats 257,000 and with the infield filled with people, there can be 400,000 people there. Facts are stubborn things.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

Yeah, but it WON'T hinder an attack or improve pedestrian safety. I'm all for safety and would support a proposal that provides it. This closure doesn't do it. A truck bomb would never be parked on Main (no parking), so consider it a moving threat. Now that threat will move through a residential street (Keech, Potter, Berkley, Snyder) and do what...stop at the plastic barricade at Main Street? I think not. It'll run through and cross a now unobstructed Main Street before it hits the stadium wall. A determined strike won't be thwarted by an orange traffic barrel. Safety is a more complicated fix than that. I for one would support a competent fix, but we haven't heard it yet. As for pedestrians, what about all the people who will celebrate the brand new block party status by playing football in the road or letting their tailgate spill in to the residential streets now glutted by a few thousand frustrated and confused drivers navigating the new detours. I fear accident rates will increase...but they'll occur a block away from Main, where the police are not watching over the throngs of pedestrians. I live two doors away from the stadium on one of those streets. I knew exactly what I was getting when I bought my home. I fully support the notion of improved security. The problem that few acknowledge is that the closure doesn't provide the security we seek. It simply pushes the insecurity into the unpoliced neighborhood streets. I wish people would ease off the ranting about whether it's the right or wrong decision and ask if it actually addresses the problem in the first place.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Football and sports fans always take the high road of fear to get what they want. That handful of Saturdays is the bully pulpit that UM and its fans use to destroy this town. It doesn't give UM or its fans to take over, destroy this city and blame the residents. Bullies always make sense to themselves.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

I seem to notice a pattern of screen names in people holding that opinion.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

At least they're closing down Greene. I'm always amazed by the fools who try driving up that street before game time.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:35 p.m.

For all the townies, the only time to go from the west side to the east side or Ypsi is during the game. Now, we can't drive Stadium and have to detour all the way to Eisenhower to go east and west. I don't mind closing Main, cause its packed full of cars, anyway, but closing Stadium is going too far.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

I'm just going to throw this out there, as an exercise in why it is impossible to protect people in a (relatively) "free and open" society such as our own. Forget for a moment that I'm your run-of-the-mill terrorist with his travelling fertilizer-bomb truck. Imagine instead that I'm an enterprising, motivated sort of terrorist - the kind who, for example, came up with the idea of creating a bomb out of underwear and having a man ignite it on a plane (let us not forget that the bomb itself wasn't found until the terrorist in that case scorched himself trying to set it off). So I see that the AAPD, and the good citizens of Ann Arbor have ringed off the stadium in an attempt to thwart yesterday's threat. No worries...I've got a new idea. You see, I've recently gotten my hands on a pair of captured U.S. M252 81mm mortars that I managed to sneak out of Afghanistan, along with 40 rounds of High Explosive ammunition. With a range of just over 3 miles, I've set up out in the boonies past 94. Just as the band marches out for halftime, I start lobbing HE rounds at the rate of 15 per minute on 115,000 unsuspecting fans. If you've never seen the effects of an 81mm mortar, there are examples on YouTube. Think about that, and then extend those thoughts the the entire range of possibilities available to somebody who has the means and the will to carry out something like that. It is simply unstoppable. Which is why this entire exercise is largely moot to begin with. We'll close one door, convince ourselves that we've "taken steps to address threats," and pretend that nobody out there is smart enough to figure out a way around it.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

Why lock your doors when you're gone when the burglar can pry open a window or break a window? How many homes in Ann Arbor are truly impossible to rob? Yet we still lock our doors. The fallacy here, so often repeated these days, is that because you cannot prevent *everything* you therefore should not work to prevent *anything*. The Boston bombers used what you've called "yesterday's threat".


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Good thoughts. Where there is a will, there is a way. I see the likeliest scenario for mayhem is using a plane.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:26 p.m.

Right, because we have such a large history of terrorists bombing football games, lol. Another law passed under the weak argument of "terrorism" in order to get the streets shut down, which they've wanted for years for other reasons.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

Even a dim bulb should be able to see where this is heading. The U will now sell space on the closed streets to vendors who will sell more UofM merchandise. It's all about merchandising. It's all about maximizing revenue for the athletic department. Oh, they will talk about "enhancing the fan experience" and other such drivel, but it is all about the money.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 5:45 a.m.

@LuckyLouie: That's a perfectly reasonable question. And being inquisitive is generally thought to be good. But the majority of the commenters here don't want that question answered, so you'll be down-voted. DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, JUST ACCEPT THEIR VIEW, AND POST SOMETHING TO SHOW YOU'RE ON THE BANDWAGON.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

If Michigan football games draw terrorists the way garbage draws flies, let's not go halfway. Just throw out the game. Let former Vice President Dick Cheney, who is shamefully out of work, draw blindfolded on pay-for-view the venue for the game about 48 hours before kick-off. The interning potential for logistics and supply students would be a bonus.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

All residents should get free city licenses to sell knickknacks and doodads and such to the tourists. Carved coconut shells will probably be big sellers. Someone could rent a tank and dive for coins.

Audion Man

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Thanks a ton, brave and thoughtful City Council. Did UM at least buy you dinner first?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

So, we have only 4 on council with any sense of where the real threat to this country lies? And, one of those 4 will soon be departing? The whole country has gone 100% looney-tunes bonkers. What's next? Cavity searches at the stadium gates? Ann Arborites not attending must "shelter-in-place" 3 hrs. before kick-off????? Mr. Ranzini hits the nail on the head once again!

Widow Wadman

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

I think that if terrorists want to blow up the stadium and kill a lot of people that they will do so regardless of whether there is car traffic allowed on game days. I'm fine with this decision that Council made however. If it makes the people who attend the games feel a bit safer, then I don't have any problem with this decision. I'm glad to hear that there will still be southbound traffic on Main up until an hour before game time as it will still be possible to get to Meijer to go grocery shopping on Saturday morning. Getting back into town is going to be harder though.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

As a resident of this part of town, I say What a NIGHTMARE! Not only are they closing Main Street, but also access to the Stadium Bridges. How is one supposed to get to the east side of town? I hate football days!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Actually, eastbound Stadium is still open. Why do you say the eastbound stadium bridge will be closed? Even westbound Stadium stays open except for the right turn lane.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

So the City Council voted 7-4 not to thwart terrorism and pedestrian dangers, but to simply push it into the residential neighborhoods. I HALF agree with Council Member Chuck Warpehoski, D-5th Ward, who said he thinks the chances of a terrorist attack are slim, but he can't help but wonder: "What if I'm wrong?" Yes...chances are slim, but the risk is too great. On that I agree. The problem is that closing Main Street does little or nothing to alleviate the threat. To get a bomb close to the Big House, now someone has to drive it through a residential mine--I live two doors from Main, dead center of the stadium (pun, regretfully, intended). As for the pedestrian concern, I thought we addressed that to a great degree when the sidewalk was made two-cars wide. Closing the street and turning the adjacent neighborhoods into a giant block party assures that the street football game in front of my house will only get bigger. Those revelers will compete for space against the traffic flow shunted off a four-lane thoroughfare onto slim residential lanes. The combination of frustrated drivers trying to navigate to the detours along with an overflow crowd of excited kids and inebriated adults playing in the streets will likely lead to even more accidents. The Main Street closure doesn't solve any problems, it simply shoves them to an area lacking a game day police presence. Instead of looking for a tougher, and more effective solution, seven of our City Council members took a potential threat and handed it off to their constituents. Oh wait, I should be fair. Those seven actually dumped it in the lap of the residents of somebody ELSE'S city ward.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

Home of the brave, oh wait strike that. Welcome to the new America, where the citizens cower in fear of everything.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

So terrorists must wait until the game is over and everyone is pouring out of the Stadium at once and Main St. is re-opened? Just sayin'


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Perhaps the U of M, considering the inconvenience and disruption this will cause residents, will make a sizable donation to the city, to help pay for the extra police needed, or even to the Ann Arbor schools educational foundation?

Angry Moderate

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

Haha, good one!

Geno Wardelli

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:04 p.m.

Love the comment by the guy from Homeland Security: "Thousands could be killed if a vehicle bomb were to detonate just outside of the big house." What an astute observation. Why not prevent parking both in the Pioneer football field and at the golf course as well where a terrorist disguised as a fan could.... Is the baseball, softball, soccer fields next. Fear is a powerful tool.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

Heck, just close the stadium to the public and let the players play on game days. Threat goes away and you still find out who wins. Never going to happen - this is about the millions of dollars they make using this stadium. Best representation money can buy is what you are going to see.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Good job Chief. and Council!!! This will make for a safer area when unsuspecting football fans, non-football loving motorists and Annorborite people are most vulnerable. Terrorists target areas that are both vulnerable and have the potential of mass human carnage. This can be markets, mass transit, sporting events and places of worship. The council did the right thing and unfortunately it is the world we live in. We are not giving in to terror but merely adjusting our ways to keep us safe. If you look at Israel and the tactics their military and security forces use, it is a necessary way of life to deal with current threats. We never thought anything was possible to happen at Detroit Metro until Christmas Eve when the underwear bomber attempted to deploy a small amount of explosives capable of taking down a 747 over Dearborn, MI. Your rights have not been taken away. You can still get around it just has to be a different way for a brief time. Don't fall victim to the "it will never happen here" mentality. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

"We are not giving in to terror but merely adjusting our ways to keep us safe." But this doesn't keep anybody safer--by keeping all other vehicles out of the way and filling Main St with pedestrians, it creates a softer, easier target. All a potential terrorist (or a nut-job like the guy on the Venice boardwalk) would have to do is hit the gas and drive past a couple traffic cops, through some wood barricades and right on into the big crowd that will now form in the street outside the stadium. Any attack is highly unlikely, of course, but the risk will be greater with the street closed than it was before.

you can't handle the truth

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

HDTV and a couch sounds really good these days


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

Good one, Brad.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

Do you have the special "Big House" edition of the lounger? The one that is only 14" wide?

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

you can watch at my house but you have to bring your own beer, park a block away and go through my metal detector. ;) If you want the Barcalounger there is a small surcharge


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:19 p.m.

Interesting how they waited until after the election to vote on this. Clearly the don't care what their constituents think.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

thousands of people could be killed if one person brings in a bag of anthrax or combines two common household cleaners. Best to close the whole stadium on game days.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

Another sad day when stupidity and the "protection against a possible terrorists attack" win.

David Cahill

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

I'm glad that our First Ward councilmembers (Briere and Kailasapathy) were not stampeded by police paranoia.


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

What kind of question is that and why would you ask it here?

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

Dave, how much behind-the-scenes lobbying did you do?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

I love when people move in an area with the largest stadium in the country, top 5 in the world, and then complain about minor inconveniences that go along with living next to it.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

Unfortunately, mine voted for this nonsense.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Everybody but the residents got what they wanted. And they call it "City Council".


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:55 p.m.

One more thing - if so many of you think this has been a legitimate concern then why have you continued to attend football games? You put your life at risk for what?? Maybe if the stadium is such a terrorist magnet they should move it out into the greenbelt to keep the city safe.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

Would I ride an airplane if there weren't metal detectors? Yes. But do I feel safer knowing that they check everyone going through security? Yup.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Three hours before? One hour before? All lanes closed? Some lanes closed? It's for security! It's for the game-day experience! It's for pedestrian safety! Way to fold, council. Thanks to my 4th ward reps and those who voted with them against this latest grab at the expense of residents. Too bad that the rest of council chose to go gelatinous on the matter. I'd be lying if I said that I was surprised.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 6:52 p.m.

I'm still wondering what their expense is? Their choice in deciding to drive by the stadium on game day has just gone from, "should I sit in traffic for 30 minutes on Main Street" or "should I go up 1 block and sit in traffic for 30 minutes on 7th or State street". The humanity! I wonder how we will compensate the direct residents of the stadium for such an inconvenience? And no, I don't think those few residents who chose to live by the largest stadium in the country should have any weighted opinion on the matter. If they don't like it, they can move and avoid the area on game day like the rest of the citizens who pay property taxes and may or may not be going to the game. It's not like they woke up one day an UM secretly built the largest stadium in the country a block from their house. If you buy a house you better be careful where you buy it. If they expand the road to 4 lanes it's your fault for not realizing the easement was that large. Don't buy a Condo downtown A2 and then complain every year during the Art Fair when you can't access your parking spot for a week because the roads are closed.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

Not my expense, the residents' expense. Multiple people who live here 365 days a year and pay property taxes. Sure they may not still be using their school fight song for a name, but don't you think they deserve some consideration?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

The "latest grab at your expense", dramatic much? I'm sure somehow, someway, you'll live not being able to drive down a couple blocks of main street 7 or 8 Saturdays a year. The horror of driving 1 minute out of your way may be too much to handle for you but I think you can push through. You act as though someone is imposing a 50% income tax to fund such a closure.

Richard Dawn

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:45 p.m.

Why do we require sprinkler systems in public and commercial buildings? Seems like a significant cost just to protect the public in the small chance that a fire will occur. Isn't there a parallel here? The Athletic Department is going to spend tens of thousands each and every game for extra police, traffic control and barricade placement - Where's their benefit? Ask the families of victims of the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City and the first responders who would have benefited from a vehicle free zone around the facility.

Audion Man

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

OMG! The Athletic Department is going to spend tens of thousands! That is money they can ill afford... They really should hike ticket prices.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

Are you sure that the Athletic Dept. is paying for the extra security materials and police? I seem to recall that just last year U-M was "forced" to chip in a paltry amount towards the cost of Ann Arbor police working on home game days near the football stadium.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

The terrorists think the Federal Building is the 70's museum!

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

so your saying we need to have a vehicle free zone around the federal building on 4th and Liberty?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:34 p.m.

I'm shocked that the City Council didn't listen to the 5 angry posters......common sense prevails. I guess those looking to drive down main street on a game day will have to take another minute out of their lives and go down one of the many other streets that run parallel. The horror!


Sat, Aug 10, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

Louie, I just happen to use this screen name on a few different sites/platforms and have always liked it. It's a way to stay consistent so I don't have to remember a bunch of different logins. If switched to the facebook stuff like the Detnews or Freep I wouldn't have a problem with that.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

There's a significant difference between being afraid of something happening and presenting options to try and prevent something from happening. If people were afraid, the events wouldn't happen at all. In all aspects of safety, it makes sense to close that portion of the road. No matter if the justification is people getting hit by cars or bombs being set off. The safety of thousands outweighs the opinion of a small minority that are inconvenienced by going 1 minute out of their way to avoid the area.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

No, fear prevailed. But the circus must go on!

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

In my admittedly anecdotal observation terrorist car bombers overseas seem to target open air markets and such rather than soccer stadiums. So maybe the real "concern" should be the farmers market and the art fair. That is, if this is really about terrorism.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

good points

Jim Mulchay

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:39 p.m.

I'd say the vulnerable points would be the big "public" lots - Pioneer and the golf courses; And while the football venue is more "newsworthy" a similar event next to Yost Arena during hockey season might be far more costly in human terms. "Top of the Park", Art Fair, move-in day(s) are some other "pressure points";


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

Wise choice coucil member's. Ofcourse people cannot look into the future,but from my perspective I truely believe you have pervented possible injury's if not something worse. When it comes to vehicle's vs. foot traffic we all know wins. Again, wise choice. Big Blue Nation


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

The U lies about terrorism threat and the neighbors lie about inconvenience (all they really care about is making money from parking). The sad state of America.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

I used to really enjoy living in Ann Arbor. Now its ego (U of M) has become way too big. There's no room here for it, and any one else.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Did you read the article Emma? Homeland Security pointed out this issue. What do you expect UM to do, ignore it? They did the right thing, they forwarded the information to the people who make the decision, putting it squarely on their shoulders.

E Claire

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

You can always move to Dexter (which is what AA would be without the U)


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

So are the lives of those who attend basketball games less valuable?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:30 p.m.

ViSHa, Your talking about 13,250 basketball fan's and 112,000 football fan's. All live's are valuable.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:05 p.m.

Whaaat? Seriously? All those closures are to protect against terrorism? So stupid. What they need to spend their time doing is figuring out how to direct traffic without essentially shutting down Ann Arbor (and major streets) on game days. People LIVE here too, you know. People who couldn't care less about football (or the unnecessary constant fear of ZOMG!!!1 TERRORISTS!!!)


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

No one said football fans didn't have a right to be here. I did say that all the roads shouldn't be shut down because of them though, and that the city/university needs to figure out how to accommodate everyone. Congratulations on your reading comprehension skills, though.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

Well there are about 109,901 people that disagree with you and actually care about football enough to visit the sacred town you live in. They have the same rights you do to be on the roads. If you don't like it, move.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

Will there be a city instituted charge to get through the soft closures? Perhaps dynamic pricing with higher prices for Ohio State alumni and those of means and lower prices for UM alumni.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

Naturally it was voted in - that's why the UM build the facade right up against the sidewalk. They expected to be able to get this vote pushed through. When it looked dicey they brought in "the terrorist threat". Well, the City should now obligated to do this for any event where thousands of people will be in the stadium - like graduation.

Sean Thomas

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

for graduation people are only on one side of the stadium. if it's not the main street side they would be safely away from any explosion on main street.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

Good call on graduation.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

Stupid and unnecessary.

Pete Warburton

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

There are several buildings on Main Street just over 100 feet from The Big House. Perhaps...Home Land Security should do bomb sweeps at AAA etc...Better yet....The University should have those properties condemned bulldoze the structures and make parking spaces for Sky Box patrons.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:42 a.m.

judging from the thumbs down votes it appears U of M has their summer interns up early this morning.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

hows this for paranoia and conspiracy...... paranoia: we need to close the road to foil some unsubstantiated unconfirmed danger conspiracy: we need to recoup the pedestrian asphalt we lost when we bumped out the stadium with luxury suites


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Yeah Leezee, THATS what the University is doing with its time and resources. You and this comment section isn't even a blip on its radar much less something it would try to influence. I mean I know haters are going to hate, but the level of paranoia and conspiracy against the University and City is pretty incredible.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

That what I thought from yesterday's article. I sometimes think UM has folks on stand-by waiting for instructions on whether to go through all the comments and vote up or down. "Don't read the article, just vote".


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

Judging from the comments it appears the tri-corner hats are being broken out early this morning.

Chip Reed

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

The terrorists hate our freedoms and they hate Big Ten Football. Give me a break!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

Them's the ones, Bob.

Basic Bob

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

sec radicals?

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:27 a.m.

can I assume where " the blue lines represent soft closures with police allowing controlled local traffic" that each car will be thoroughly searched with bomb sniffing dogs? After all an unnamed "representative from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said thousands of people could be killed if a vehicle bomb were to detonate right outside the Big House on Main Street. For that matter do police and bomb sniffing dogs check every delivery vehicle that enters the grounds of the stadium?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

Sean, you must have never seen the movie Black Sunday! A terrorist could do the same thing with a delivery truck standing in for the Goodyear blimp! It's TOTALLY possible! Uh huh!

Sean Thomas

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

you don't need that if there are only a select few pre-approved vehicles that are allowed in. Not to say this whole thing is necessary, but dogs aren't needed for their security to be effective.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

Now I have an excuse to skip driving down Main Street on a football Saturday. Whew!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

I wasn't aware that anyone was previously REQUIRED to drive down Main on Saturdays...


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:13 a.m.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

Absolutely nothing to do with this story.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:07 a.m.


Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

Of course the two members of city council who are employed by U-M voted to grant this benefit to U-M without any material benefit to the city. When is that conflict of interest rule they have been discussing for the past 10 years going to be put into place? Of course the Mayor, being one of the two employed by U-M, he and his wife drawing over $110,000 a year from their part-time jobs there, voted for this proposal.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Does everything have to be a "material benefit to the city?" Really the city had no choice here. Homeland Security pointed out the issue. Anyone expect the city to ignore that? If they ignore it and something happens, big problem. If they do it and nothing happens, no problem and you can say crime prevention triumphs once again.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

Ah, how quickly things change.... Stephen Kunselman, 3rd ward councilman and UofM's energy liaison, Ranzini is now gunning for you! "Of course" you did this because you're employed by the University. Police Chief Seto: Ranzini now says you're a patsy for UofM rather than motivated by the safety of people on home game days.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Just to keep things straight the conflict law is not relevant in this case. That law is for things like a board of education member not being allowed to vote on a union contract when a family is in the union. One other thing. The AA police has been pushing this for years with the university resisting. This is the first time the school asked for this and this time they are funding the cost of the extra police.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 3:01 p.m.

Do your really think the mayor voted for this because it benefits U-M but not the city? Your argument makes no sense.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

Forget their motivations (Peggysue); tell us, instead, how we can earn >100k part-time! Because I'm up for that ;)


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Tell me why?

Basic Bob

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:53 a.m.

On game days, I avoid the entire city and freeway ring.

Basic Bob

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

unless it is a 49-7 blowout and the crowd leaves at halftime


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

LoL that is my philosophy too!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

During the game (a solid 2-hour window) is actually a lovely time to visit downtown--everyone else is at the game/watching the game.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:46 a.m.

Once we let the bogus threat of terrorism to run our lives, the bad guys win. How many massive truck bombs have there been in U.S. history? How many people died this past week in local auto accidents? How much inconvenience will this plan assure? It is a shame that seven members of city council are so lacking in wisdom and let fear run their lives. Kudos to the four who stood up for freedom and common sense.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:12 p.m.

@Mick52: In U.S. history, the only other large truck bombing was on Wall Street in the 1920s set off by anarchists. So, to answer my own first question, the answer is three. To answer my own second question, more than three people died just in the Ann Arbor area this past week in car accidents. If you are going to run your life based on eliminating all risk, you'd never leave your home in the morning.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 9:21 p.m.

Eagleman has it right. I would hope no one would ever use the words "bogus threat of terrorism," in Boston, New York City, Oklahoma City, Washington DC or in Shanksville, Pa. Or anywhere else in the USA where people respect those who died from terrorism. When I read the original post here, I thought right away of Oklahoma City and the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Both done by vehicles loaded with explosives. This will affect the public for a few hours on just seven days. It has nothing to do with freedom or liberty. Sure this may or may not have an impact but here Homeland Security points out a weakness and you do nothing you have some explaining to do if something happens not to mention the heap on criticism you will receive for not reacting to the advice. When it comes to prevention, if you have a hole, you plug it.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

@eagleman: Friends and classmates of mine died on 9/11 and in other terrorist attacks. One of my degrees from Yale is in East Asian Studies (Japan) and the other is in History. I speak Japanese and have extensively traveled there. You are naive to believe I am not alert to terrorist threats or aware of the lessons of history. It is PERSONAL for me because of the memories of those I've lost. I believe however that @dipstick had it right: "Life and liberty are both precious. It is always tragic when lives are lost in the name of some twisted or arcane political cause; it is even more tragic when the liberty of all is also lost as a result." The United States is strongest when we uphold the ideas that made our country great. Our ideas of freedom and opportunity won the Cold War and can vanquish any enemies. After the war we still have to make a peace and win the hearts and minds of our enemies. If we are untrue to our ideals we are hypocrites and dishonor the memory of our friends we have lost.

Rob Pollard

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Oh please eagleman. If there is a terrorist who REALLY wants to terrorize/bomb a UM event, there have been and still will be plenty of opportunities to do so. I don't like that, but it's reality of living in a free society that allows people to essentially move about freely. To name but a few, they could go outside Yost before a hockey game, go in Pioneer's parking lot during tailgating for a football game, go on State Street during Hash Bash, go on an number of streets during the Art Fair, and on and on. All of those places would have scores, if not hundreds of casualties with relatively simple bombs. Bogus assertions that terrorist attacks are being reduced/prevented in any meaningful way by measures like the one the council just enacted distract people from much more real dangers that exist.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

No disrespect to those who lost their lives in the terrible events you mention, @eagleman, but it was not a failure to plan that allowed these things to happen, it was a failure to act. We have learned that in the case of 9-11 and Pearl Harbor there was advanced notice of the attacks, but nothing was done by those who had that information.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

"The failure to plan, to account for the maniac hellbent on death and chaos, is when we are most vulnerable. " Like when the university built the stadium out to the sidewalk? Where is their responsibility in this process? It seems like the residents are being inconvenienced because the university failed to account for any of this even after 9/11.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

3000 dead in NYC, Washington, and Pennsylvania mock your assertion of a "bogus terrorist threat". So do the 168 killed in OKC, the 3 dead in Boston, and the 6 dead in the first trade center attack. People like you, Mr. Ranzini, who are do not plan for the future are the people most shocked when a 9-11 or Pear Harbor happens. The failure to plan, to account for the maniac hellbent on death and chaos, is when we are most vulnerable. It's easy to write highfalutin words about sacrificing liberty for the sake of security. But are you willing, Mr. Ranzini, to take responsibility for the casualties if an attack should happen? It's easy to criticize and issue indignant statements when you personally have no skin in the game. I would take your statement more seriously if you step up and offer to take personal responsibility for the safety of Ann Arbor's citizens and those who visit this city. The bodies of 1100 men are forever entombed in the USS Arizona because people failed to prepare for the threat of the Japanese(even though there were plenty of warning signs). Men who never got to say goodbye to their families, who were robbed of the chance to live out their lives. This is the price of insouciance, Mr. Ranzini. Americans are a sheltered lot. They are so used to being protected by the world's largest moats(the Pacific and Atlantic) that they have grown complacent, dare I say, scornful of threats to live and liberty. This is because Americans haven't known a dire threat to the homeland since the Age of Madison.As a result Americans have come to assume that they are out of reach of the kind of sustained attacks that have caused so much misery and death elsewhere in the world. One would think that Pearl Harbor and 9-11 would have disabused Americans of such delusional notions, but as the comments here make clear these assumptions are still prevalent in today's world. This attitude is a necessary ingredient for disaster.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

While I agree with your point, sadly, a lot of our freedoms were lost on 9-11-2001. The other shoe dropped in Boston just a few months ago. I would expect a few more restrictions to come down the line in the remaining few weeks before the home opener. It's the new world order. The odds are against such an attack as you point out, but...anything can happen.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

I think SLR has it right. Don't be so fearful, people. You are far more likely to get struck by lightning.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

In that case, there should also be increased driver and pedestrian safety from removing that conflict along main, right?


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

you called it leezee!


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

"Life and liberty are both precious. It is always tragic when lives are lost in the name of some twisted or arcane political cause; it is even more tragic when the liberty of all is also lost as a result."


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

I don't think fear is running their lives - I think UM is running their lives.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

Once we let bogus threats of loss of "freedom" run our lives, the ignorant win.


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 10:19 a.m.

Michigan Game Day Experience, 2.0 Game Day. 0800 hours. AAPD deploys and establishes a perimeter marked with durable, 18", orange, PVC traffic cones. The terrorist must move quickly because she will be confronted at: Kickoff -3 hours. Prepositioned tactical units will simultaneously move west down Stadium and Keech and converge along South Main in a pincer-like movement. Their goal will be to erect barriers constructed of composite material 2x6's with warnings of: "Road Closed". The orange and white striped impediments will scream defiantly to terrorists, "We will NOT cower in our homes!" U-M gendarme, not wanting to be left out of the fun, can station snipers on top of the luxury boxes overlooking South Main. Or maybe just stick a couple mannequins up there (saves on overtime). Just in case these precautions don't prevent a whack job hell bent on killing people by driving an RV loaded with explosives into a mass of humanity, the U-M will pay the Air Force to arm the flyover aircraft with live ammo. Hey, don't take a pressure-cooker bomb to a Hellfire missile fight. Overlooked, however, is that by closing Main St the concentration of people in a small area will be greater. You might as well just paint a bull's eye on the asphalt so the terrorists in the ad airplanes know where to aim. Yes, football fans will certainly be safer. .


Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

I think the point that is being made here is this - if terrorists want to do something, they well. This will not deter them and may actually make things easier since they now know the closures. That being said, I don't think terrorists will select a UM game, but one never knows.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 9, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

well played sir.