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Posted on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

University of Michigan seeking partial closure of Main Street during football Saturdays

By Kellie Woodhouse


The University of Michigan wants to close the section of Main Street near Michigan Stadium, pictured here July 16, during home football games.

Daniel Brenner |

The University of Michigan is seeking the Ann Arbor City Council's permission to close Main Street between Pauline and Stadium boulevards during football games at the Big House this fall.


People cross the intersection of Main Street and Stadium Boulevard to enter Michigan Stadium on Saturday afternoon before the University of Michigan's home football opener against Western Michigan University at Michigan Stadium in 2011.

Joseph Tobianski I file photo

Jim Kosteva, the school's community relations director, says the measure is meant to ensure safety when more than 110,000 fans filter into Michigan Stadium on football Saturdays.

The school is seeking closure beginning 3 hours before game time to the end of the game.

The closure was first suggested by Homeland Security when President Barack Obama gave U-M's 2010 commencement speech, but put on hold during the Stadium bridges construction.

The west side of Michigan Stadium, which abuts Main Street, is the only section of the stadium not buffered by a 100-foot vehicle-free zone, Kosteva said.

"It's to help better ensure the safety and security of patrons as well as surrounding neighborhoods," Kosteva said, adding that the hope is the measure will "reduce the potential for vehicle-borne attacks."


The University of Michigan is considering closing Main Street next to the stadium for all events.

Daniel Brenner |

Kosteva said the April Boston Marathon bombings also put the university on alert.

"It certainly, once again, has elevated concerns for all types of public sporting events," he said. "The university is not alone with a number of organizations and most professional or college sports and entities that are either considering or taking additional actions."

During the Notre Dame v. Michigan night game in 2011 the school closed that portion of Main Street.

The City of Ann Arbor has scheduled a meeting 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at the Ann Arbor Downtown District Library to share information regarding the request.

City staff will be available at the meeting to answer questions from the community prior to City Council consideration of the street closure request.


Pedestrians make their way down a closed Main Street prior to the University of Michigan's spring graduation featuring President Barack Obama.

File photo |

Kosteva said that during the closures local traffic will be directed to other nearby streets, such as Pauline, Seventh and sections of East and West Stadium outside of the stadium perimeters.

City Councilperson Margie Teall (D-4th Ward), who represents homeowners near the stadium, said that when the university in 2011 initially proposed closing the portion of Main Street neighbors were hesitant, especially given the other nearby road closures during the Stadium bridges construction.

"It's just burdensome to the neighbors in terms of getting in and out on the Main Street end of their [neighborhoods]," she said, adding that with the recent Boston Marathon bombing she anticipates nearby residents will be more understanding of the proposed change.

"We will be trying to work with them to make that as easy as possible," Teall added.

View Proposed Main Street closure in a larger map

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 10:55 p.m.

i'd say HELL NO.The stadium has been there how many years and Main St. has never been closed and things seem to run fairly smoothly.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

I will repeat what some have already said. I wish the athletic director would respond to the point that all of this was created by UofM poor design of the addition. They had their clearance. They rebuilt knowing that it would be less than 100 ft. Seems to me they should have thought of that first. Come on Brandon any response?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

Is there any public record of how much the U is paying (or pays as a general rule) to close South U for as long as it's been closed? Is it a standard rate that any entity pays when they close a street?

Hazen P'Angree

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

Looks like another boondoggle from the Democrats in Lansing. Not with MY property taxes, they don't. Looks like they're following the golden rule--whoever has the gold, makes the rule. Go figure!

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

"City Councilperson Margie Teall (D-4th Ward), who represents homeowners near the stadium..." Ms. Teall doesn't 'represent' homeowners near the Stadium. She'a a member of Council for the 4th Ward, true, but only represents residents of Burns Park, downtown, the One Per Cent Arts Community and the agenda of the DDA. The rest of us in her Ward have been without effective representation for her entire term on Council.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:35 p.m.

Lets put this in perspective. Art Fair closes down the whole city for 4 consecutive days. It's a DISASTER. UM football games would close one street, for one day, 6-7 times a year. This road closure is actually less of a burden. If the U was sponsoring the art fair.....well there probably wouldn't be an art fair if the U was sponsoring it because everyone would complain about the road closures and how awful the U is.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 4:16 a.m.

The Art Fair is a disaster??


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

I have to agree with teeters the city keeps expanding the art fair booth spaces on campus; Washington, Thayer, Ingalls mall, North U, to name some recent expansions. And lets not forget the Top of the Park that the city residents attend for a donation on U of M's dime and closes Washington st. for over a month. Soap box derby would be cool I'd have no problem with that, the rolling sculputure show, not the greatest car show but it is still fun. The city squeezed Stadium (street name here folks, think about it) into a 2-lane road which certainly didn't help with the area.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:38 p.m.

Funny, because when the Soap Box Derby was run in town (the local one, put on by the JayCees) they did close Main Street. But it was "too big a burden" on the public, so they stopped doing the Derby in AA. The closure, by the way, was in summer, over a weekend, when AA was deserted. But being that it was in the 1960s.... that was before your time, wasn't it? Back when the American Legion was on Main but now that spot is a UoM parking lot. And the dairy next door to the Legion Bldg... UoM parking lot. Davis Street, open to the public? Ummm, not any more. Go ahead, ignore the elephant in your living room. But I think your living room smells like the elephant pen at the Shrine Circus.

Lets Get Real

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:28 p.m.

All part of the long-term plan? Of course. How short sighted Ann Arbor leadership can be. When you look at the expansion of the stadium to create those high priced VIP boxes on the Main Street side of the stadium, filled with broadcasters, University academic leaders, big donors, celebrities, etc. what did you think would follow? Did you think long term? Well, recognize it as just Step 1 in the process to absorb more of the town to their use. Step 2: the VIPs (& the fans) need to be protected with a 100' non-vehicle rim or those VIPs would be at risk. That means closing down Main Street-just for a few hours (Don't fall for the distraction, folks). Let's Get Real here & speculate-Step 3: Since the street is closed anyway, we'll ask for a slightly longer closure time period & host the alumni parties, the parent's tailgates, etc in temporary tents we place there-we make good money charging those alumni & parents for those meals - and I bet we could sell merchandise from there too! Step 4: We could place the broadcast tractor trailers out there, if we can get the city to approve a longer/overnight closure. Step 5 - We could buy those properties across the street - one at a time like we did at Blimpy's - claiming we need it for VIP parking (under the guise of handicapped), & eventually turn that into tailgate central with permanent outdoor kitchens, restrooms, etc. Step 6 - we could build on those lots, and put parking underneath the buildings, & put party central courtyards into the design. Maybe we can figure out where we could put an RV park-maybe, we could buy Ann Arbor Golf and outing for that! We'll take away all that parking in people's yards, crowd out parking at Pioneer, devalue the desirability of 'residential neighborhood properties', buy them for a song, pay no tax, & contribute nothing back to the town while telling the gullible citizens how good this is for the town & our well-being & safety. Ann Arbor City Coun


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Face it, they want to close Main Street so they can protect the talking heads in the press booth and the execs in their suites, all in the structure on the west side line, the Main Street side.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

Surprised this hasn't been brought up- So how does their proposal to use Seventh as a major alternative route go with the recent article about the neighborhood along Seventh complaining about the traffic and it being used as an artery? Do you think that part of your Ward is open for that change Margie?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:02 p.m.

I love all the outrage about this. Let's be honest, every single person who lives in Ann Arbor who isn't going to the game avoids that area like the plague anyway. It's not like someone's going to be driving down main street right before the game starts. I suspect people are exaggerating their outrage just because the University is trying to do something that involves the city and given the recent actions of the University people are just trying to find things to complain about.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

Well, Brad, the city council YOU voted in will have every opportunity to turn down their request. But unfortunately, I'm going to guess that they aren't going to cater to the minority opinion.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 6:26 p.m.

It's an additional inconvenience that I'm not interested in having. They need to handle their own problem, not foist it off on the city and residents.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

"and given the recent actions of the University people are just trying to find things to complain about." Given the recent actions of the U, no one has to TRY TO FIND things, they keep throwing things at us.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Well Brad, you're in the minority. And people who do go to the game couldn't care less if that road is closed at that particular spot. Is it really that much of an inconvenience to drive down state street instead and come up stadium if you need to get somewhere on that side?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

I'll be honest - I've lived here for a while and I absolutely don't avoid that area *during* the game - it just isn't that busy.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:49 p.m.

Close the street before and after the game, allow traffic during the game, and require the university to compensate the city for facilitating this. It doesn't have to be that difficult and it should be that easy.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

Since the closure will happen regardless, the city should at least make some demands about how that space is used or not used. There shouldbe no sales of anything on that street. There should also be no tailgating in that area. No parking of equipment trailers, no media vans or equipment. NOTHING! It should be used for pedestrian traffic and nothing else.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

So with this decision pedestrian congestion in the street would likely increase or at least remain high. If security is the issue, should they not be thinking of Boston? It was not a vehicle that delivered the carnage but a pedestrian. This would seem to reflect concern for the structure's security and not the fans. Are they expanding the security checkpoints to the perimeter of Main St.? If they did that one could still walk to the edge of the huge crowd so that wouldn't work either. So edge of the city limits so people are "safe"? When is enough? The safest approach would be to televise an empty stadium - safety achieved As others have said, FEAR is used to obtain favorable decisions on selfish choices (aka no setback on a stadium you know holds 110,000 fans). How many decades did Main Street remain open when it held 100,000 fans?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

If the stadium is going to be that dangerous of a potential target they should probably close it entirely so as to protect the surrounding neighborhoods. For the "greater good", you know.

Pat Ardner

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

When is the University going to start paying the city for "things" it wants??? Why should the city always give the University everything it wants? I worker at the U for almost 34 years and I'm sick of them always getting whatever they want especially for "FREE"!!!


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Might as well close it an hour or two before kickoff, it's so packed with football fans in the middle of the street. But that's it! I live right off Main Street - and the game traffic impedes my life more than enough. There's no need for UM to impact Ann Arbor even more than it has!!


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Oh boy, here we go. Next they'll buy up the properties across the street from the stadium and get the city to give up all rights to the block so they can turn it into a "walking mall". Followed by the building of the multi-story "Department of Kinesiology" with a special parking garage for the basketball and football players and coaches.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:27 a.m.

I would suspect Dave Brandon is smiling like the big wolverine he is. He has the power to shut down a city street in the name of safety to protect the UM fan base. There are multiple areas close to the stadium besides the Main St. corridor. Why not close all of the other access roads? Primarily because it is not necessary. This is about publicity and ego for the UM Athletic Department. They have the clout to close a major city artery in the name of Homeland Security. It would seem their large egos are only surpassed by the 2.3 million dollar equally over sized advertising board in front of the stadium. Hopefully City Council will see pass the hoopla and deny the request.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:10 a.m.

I don't care. On game day I go well around.

Steve Hendel

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:20 a.m.

More nonsense. This is an entirely different situation from the Boston Marathon bombing, which could only have been prevented if (a) they didn't hold the Marathon, or (b) no observers were allowed on the streets. Certainly not by fiddling with street closings.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:01 a.m.

You know full well that when they shut the street down, it will be quickly filled with tents selling UofM merchandise. The university wants this, so hizzoner will deliver, lest he get dinged on his performance review for his day job.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:22 a.m.

If they want this it will happen. It's called POWER


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

Ahhh, the culture of fear the we have bred into the population continues unabated. Continue cowering, fellow citizens.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

This makes no sense. I live in that neighborhood. And I certainly want everyone to be as safe as possible. But this would make ZERO difference in safety level. This has already come up twice in the past two years and has not been approved either time. I don't expect this time will be any difference -- especially since its almost exactly the same council.....


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:10 a.m.

The University pays the City of Ann Arbor millions and millions of dollars in taxes and event fees, so give them what they want. After all they are the largest direct contributor to the number of police officers and fire fighters that the city can maintain. They pay millions in street maintenance fees too. NOT!


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

Jim Mulchay

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

Now here is an opportunity too good to pass up! Convert Main Street from Huron to Stadium to a pedestrian, equestrian, bicycle and - dare I say it - trolley thoroughfare. Now there may be some who are inconvenienced, but (1) think of the publicity for the city; (2) think of the ozone / climate change issues; (3) think of the opportunity for city council to debate it! Of course if we are really worried about terrorism we'd need to shut down Stadium Blvd and all the small streets behind the stadium, but that is probably too much trouble for the University.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

While we are at it, we should make Main Street one way into town before the game and one way out of town after the game. Just maintain three lanes from Huron to Williams or Packard or something like that - sort of how they do it now on South Main after the game. Seriously, this would help get everyone in and out.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:41 a.m.

Don't waste your time, people. This has already been approved. Dear Leader has his instructions from his employers.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:40 a.m.

How long until the University decides to seize main street in order to further expand their business interests? That is what they are doing here. They built right up to the edge of the road, and then declared their proximity to the street unsafe. Are we really expected to believe they didn't consider the lack of a setback a security issue? They chose to ignore it.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:07 a.m.

Ann Arbor is still the best city in America, for people to complain about something just for the act of complaining. Honestly people, they're talking about seven days out of 362 ! And the reason is for additional safety and security. I know, Ann Arbor folk - next year they'll want 15 home games to close the street, then 30 home games the next year, and so on and so on. Where will it all end ?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

I left three days off, for people to think about it and do some

Kevin McGuinness

Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

Sounds like a good idea -- what will the city charge for it? Maybe we can try and get some reimbursement for what we had to pay the University for the easement rights around stadium bridge,


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 11:20 p.m.

Sounds like another VIP will be in town. A more important VIP than the President of the United States. A VVIP. Someone who can actually have Main street closed for them by Homeland Security. Hmmm. OMG !!! No. It can't be ! Coming to our little Ann Arbor? It's It's Did we suddenly forget about the inconvenience of closing down Main? Thought so. And In other news, The DDA has just put forth their new proposal... "Gateway Main". A brand new, all brick convention center / hotel complex stretching from Stadium to Pauline. Complete with a rapid transit shuttle to nearby stores and restaurants Like the two Pillars of Hercules The perfect complement to the famous brick Michigan Stadium hugging the other side of Main street which should be closed during the game and Convention Center block parties. Whoopee!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

Here we go again...using fear to take control of city streets. In 2011, UM had the hubris to use potential attacks when they enlarged the stadium to its behemoth size. Now they're using the Boston Bombing to make another request and already their minions on the city council who rolled over whenever UM says "jump" is at it again. If UM gets their way yet again (nighttime fireworks, unlimited volumes at their sport stadiums), they will not be satisfied with 3 hours. They will want more and more. UM is a great university but its has zero interest in being a collaborative community partner. They have continually sought to acquire more taxable property via outrageous monetary offers or eminent domain to expand their control of this city. These purchases destroy iconic buildings, businesses and homes for additional parking & student housing. Oh, I forgot if you add offices and a few classrooms its now an intellectual expansion. They have also demanded and receive closures of streets in this city by our elected officials who don't have the courage to say no when they can. Their campus police have now expanded their patrol routes on city streets due to their expansion. Who do you think will patrol this road closure? Campus Security or AA police? If AA police will they pay them appropriately? How much control are we willing to give the U? Even our media such as the esteem can't resist censoring voices oppose to UM. We should all watch the lawsuit against Princeton University by the city of Princeton to recoup taxes lost....if we hope to prevent our city from being called UM, MI one day.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jul 19, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

Hi Somargie- I'm not sure what you mean be " can't resist censoring voices oppose to UM." If you have a specific example of this or ever have questions regarding comments on the site please let me know so we can take a look as we welcome all perspectives on stories as long as they are on topic.

John Gotts

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

According to Wikipedia, the last car bombing in the US was in 1976, and it resulted in two fatalities. In Michigan alone, there are over 900 traffic fatalities per year. If you do the math: 2 deaths / (50 states, assuming equal population * 40 years) = 0.001 900 deaths / (1 state * 1 year) = 900 900 / 0.001 ~ 1,000,000 So you have a billion times greater chance of dying in a vehicular accident than via a car bomb. I've been in or nearby Ann Arbor for 20 years now, and have yet to hear of even one football fan getting hit by a car, which is the real threat by a factor of a billion. I welcome my professors to check my math. I've been out of U of M for over a decade.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:28 a.m.

Michigan connected Timothy McVeigh truck-bombed Oklahoma City Federal building April, 1995. 168 deaths. Criminal car bomb attack on Monroe Michigan dad taking two sons to football practice September, 2011. No deaths. 170 deaths in 50 states over 41 years = 0.083 Better than 10,000 : 1 odds of dying in Michigan auto accident vs Michigan football vehicle bomb.. UM is rapidly building smart cars to justify Main Street closure. Still likely correct. Closer to one billion to one odds given the number of quasi-legal government measures implemented since 2001. Even without Homeland Security. (Not including iaimless mmigrant kids without a cause).

John Gotts

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 11 p.m.

Sorry, make that a million.

Dog Guy

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

Negotiation with mayor and council could begin, "Do you like working for The University of Michigan?"


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

NO! JUST NO! Enough already. No one MADE them design the changes to the stadium to use up all the buffer space. Just let them re-route foot traffic.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:27 p.m.

Why don't they just assume ownership of the street via eminent domain?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Ms. Teall added "... that with the recent Boston Marathon bombing she anticipates nearby residents will be more understanding of the proposed change." Margie, how in the heck did two very unsophisticated immigrant kids outwit the multi-billion dollar empire of Homeland Security. The two Oxymorons. And Margie, didn't you just endorse that expensive UM Boomerang train? Designed to wisk sports fans to and from the staadium? Tell us, will it have to back up all the way down main from Pauline now or get to pass on through to Briarwood after the bomb-sniffing German Shepherds check out all of the crowdy passangers who have been x-ray-nudified and frisked shoeless. Not called leaders for nothing - nooo, we are not talking about the dogs anymore.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

Anyone who actually goes out on football saturdays would know that DURING the football games has to be one of the easiest times to drive around in this town. It's practically a ghost town. To close the roads before or after the game could work..but during the game would be absolutely useless.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Just close off the part of the stadium that they foolishly built too close to the street. Nobody in the city would have been able to build with that little amount of setback so that's what they get. Not our problem.

Nicholas Urfe

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9 p.m.

There is no basis for this fear in the US. It is more over-reach by the university.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Why don't they just claim the street as imminent domain just like any other piece of property they want control over?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:31 a.m.

Guess it's fair to say their domain is imminent, at that.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.


Bruce Ball

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

What is UofM offering to A2 in exchange for this proposed closure? What is UofM offering to the most-affected residents where the already heavy game-day traffic is sure to increase, e.g. the residents along Pauline Blvd?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

They already offer that hail2thevict0r. So if the city says no, they're still going to offer that. Try again.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

hundreds of thousands of people coming to the city to buy stuff, get tickets for parking incorrectly and see the city.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

We went through this last year. The answer is, "no."


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

You people who are outraged by this are seriously "driving" on Main between Stadium and Pauline during football games? Why on earth would you do something like that? Do you enjoy sitting in your car, gridlocked, for long periods of time?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4 p.m.

It flows cleanly during the game, and if they're making up "national security" excuses, they're probably planning to close it during that time. Inconvenience, for no good reason.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

You can get up and down it before 2 or 3 hours of kickoff, and it's usually flowing an hour or slightly more after the game ends. I'm guessing it's going to be blocked off for longer than that though.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:45 p.m.

I call it the "eye" of the home football game. A solid two hours of calmness.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

Welcome to Ann Arbor, sigdiamond! You will soon learn that, if you aren't attending the football game, then the most efficient time to get errands done on a Football Saturday is during the event itself.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

During the games the cars are parked. It's like a ghost town on Main. New here?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

The university HAD to build the addition close to the street and now the city has to pay the price. Perhaps the University [which I attended and does NOT give the city any payments in lieu of taxes] should give some thought to rerouting football traffic on their own property. I am opposed to this closing!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

""We will be trying to work with them to make that as easy as possible," Teall added." Sounds like you've already decided and sold out your constituents. Why even bother with the meeting - the fix is in. Another back-room done deal.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

"We will be trying to work with them to make that as easy as possible," Teall added. Interesting how Margie Teall uses the word "will" instead of "would" here - it implies that City Council's approval is a foregone conclusion. As a homeowner in one of the neighborhoods Teall represents (one bounded by Stadium, Seventh, and Pauline) I am not more understanding of the change than I was before the Boston Marathon Bombing, which was not a vehicle-borne attack.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

It's merely a formality... they close the street periodically before and after to the game to allow masses to cross Main in that immediate vicinity there... when it's open again, it's purely gridlock as it were anyway... why anyone would try to drive down there before and after the game is beyond my comprehension anyway? 7th and State and Packard are the only things flowing... most townies know every cut to get around the congestion as we've all been piloting Treetown since we were 16...


Sat, Jul 20, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

M I am referencing your initial comment that you drive through there at 9:00 on days with a noon game with no problem, and then your comment that 'I'm guessing they're going to close it for a lot longer than that.' I was pointing out that that is exactly the time frame requested by UofM; not 'a lot longer'. I then added that the best time to initiate blocking of a street is before traffic gets all backed up, and not after; again referencing your point that traffic back-ups are not an issue at 9:00. Perhaps my misspelling of citing as siting made it seem like I was meaning sitting... Sorry I did not catch that error.


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

ThinkingOne, I'm not sure I understand your reply. We're talking about the road, not being in the stadium. If you meant sitting on the road, no, Main isn't at a standstill at 9 am. I've driven up and down it to the Medical Campus many times between 8 and 9:30 am, and still gotten home in plenty of time to then walk to the game.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

M You are siting 9:00 for a noon kick-off. That is what the UM is requesting, 3 hours before kick-off. I would imagine they want to block off the streets before the log-jam occurs rather than during it.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

That's not really true till about 2 or 3 hours before the game. For a noon kickoff you can still go up and down main fairly easily at 8 or 9 in the morning. I'm guessing they're going to close it for a lot longer than that.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:32 p.m.

I don't buy the notion of some sort of 'attack' via a vehicle, but I do like the idea of closing the street in the interest of pedestrian safety. If the city can close streets for running events, art fairs, they close a few blocks around the stadium a few Saturdays a year.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

teeters, you're wrong. Before and right after the game, that's a no-go zone (and part of Main becomes Southbound-only). During the game, however, Main is a clear route into town - and during the game is the only time you can run errands downtown on a football Saturday.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

I don't know why they don't make this their main taking point. And any intelligent person would not drive down Main that close to game time, they're asking for it.

Bob W

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:28 p.m.

I think it's a good idea given the pedestrian traffic in the area and tight quarters. However, I think it should be extended to one hour after the end of the game as well. After all, it only happens, what, six or so times per year?


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

You mean the pedestrian traffic like in Boston? This would be the concern if safety of the pedestrians were the concern.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Yes, and it might help get the fans in and back out of the area quicker.

cactus charlie

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

""""""""Vote no City Council. The U of M has inconvenienced the public by road closures during dorm constructions and other building projects. The non football fans should not have the road closed and forced to detour if they need to run errands. This is another example of major college sports trying to exert pressure for their sporting events. Brandon continues to try to push his agenda without regard to its effect on all concerned.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 3:23 p.m.

They should vote NO on the Art Far road closures too. You know, for all the non-art fans of this city. At least you can get past the football headache, the art fair disaster is unavoidable.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:44 a.m.

Jim Costeva

Willie Reid

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Selfishly I love this. Makes my tailgating location that much more ideal.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Maybe the U could pay for some road repaving as compensation to the city?! Like Ann Arbor Saline Road between the stadium an I-94, and Stadium Blvd over to the ew bridges...... Sounds fair to me!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:12 p.m.

I'm not sure "vehicle-born attacks" is a serious concern, but I do see some practical benefit. As a person familiar with NASCAR events, in general, traffic is not allowed to cross from one side of the event to the other. That is, if you come in from the west, it is only to park, then you must go back out to the west. Surely the few people who are caught unaware of a game day are better served being re-routed far around the stadium rather than sitting, unmoving at the intersection for a half hour/hour, before or after the game.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

I do understand that at NASCAR events, traffic only goes in one direction. But the alternate routes are a real problem here.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:30 p.m.

There will be unbelievable Grid Lock in the neighborhood to the west of the UofM Stadium. The so called UofM traffic engineers do not realize the two lane neighborhood roads cannot handle the Main Street football traffic routed on to them. People will be sitting in their cars, bumper to bumper for hours. The University thinks they can "run" over the little people of Ann Arbor. We, the little people of Ann Arbor pay the city property taxes. City Council just say NO!!!


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

How many $$$$$$ is the University of Michigan going to pay the city of Ann Arbor for the privilege of closing Main Street?

Bluegrass Ron

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

What about the east side of the stadium? The roadway is about the same distance from the stadium.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 4:43 a.m.

There's a parking lot on the east side of the stadium


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

Absolutely, positively not. On the other hand, why don't we exchange this for the repavement of Stadium Boulevard that you destroyed, UM?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:34 p.m.

How did they destroy Stadium Blvd? Yes it is on bad shape, but I don't see how the U of M is responsible.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

Oh. come on. That's how you get into town to run errands during the game!


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.

I'll add: if you're at the point where you'll uncritically accept anything someone authoritative-sounding says might make you a little safer, the terrorists have broken you.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:50 a.m.

I don't know whether Boston closes streets adjacent to university stadiums (or even professional stadiums) during games. I doubt that their response to the Marathon bombing has been to keep the entire city on lockdown, permanently.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

In Boston the bombs were in back packs. Will the police ban/search back packs 50, 100, 250 feet from the stadium?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

seldon I don't think your sentiments would fly in Boston just now.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

JGA: I'm not a low-information commenter on this topic. I'm also not a high-fear commenter like you are. Security measures have to be balanced against their cost in inconvenience and expense, as well as the risk of the event they are designed to prevent and their effectiveness at addressing that risk. And remember, the risk isn't just based on how bad the event would be if it happened, but also on how likely it is for the event to happen. Closing the street (major inconvenience) to prevent a car bomb (really bad if it does happen, but given the incidence of these things in the US the likelihood is slightly above the meteor strike) (also, not very effective, since as another commenter has pointed out you can get cars and trucks pretty close to the stadium from other directions)... no thanks. It's paranoid.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

How about the high-fear commenters?


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

I think its a great idea! Too many people that close to traffic... something will happen eventually.


Wed, Jul 17, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Pedestrain safety concerns you say. What about those pedestrains in Boston? The whole blocked off area of Main street packed with people. This is merely the outcome of rebuilding the stadium with NO SETBACK. A very bad decision in a conjested area. Look at our neighbors both MSU and EMU have open space around the stadiums (granted not 110,000 seating). The whole in the ground is land locked and after the rebuild even more so.

Lynn Liston

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

I have to agree. This would certainly enhance pedestrian safety and allow foot traffic to /from the stadium to move along with more ease. Looking at the map, it looks like everyone in the neighborhood affected has alternate routes in and out and can get downtown (as if there were any place to park there on a football Saturday).


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

What was the vehicle free buffer zone before they increased the size of the Main St facade? "vehicle born attacks"? Really? How many of those do we have in the entire country in a years time? Just say "No", City Council.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Actually we have zero "vehicle born" attacks and nearly the same number of "vehicle borne" ones.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 7:56 p.m.

This had to have been the long-term goal when they designed the recent construction to butt right up to the road. Most people avoid that area if they aren't going to games anyway, I don't see much harm in this. * - In before the cost of police, quality of life, University runs this town comments.


Tue, Jul 16, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Security isn't tight enough around the stadium to justify this. A vehicle can get close enough to do major damage elsewhere, so adding this complication isn't justified.