You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Police ask fans to 'bring a dose of patience' to deal with football traffic on Saturday

By Kyle Feldscher


This map shows police suggestions for routes fans should take into Ann Arbor for football games in 2012.

Courtesy of University of Michigan

University of Michigan football fans coming into Ann Arbor on game days avoided having to deal with the East Stadium Boulevard bridge construction last year, but won’t be so lucky in 2012.

Police are warning fans coming into the city who plan to park near Michigan Stadium to arrive early before the game and expect delays due to the closure of East Stadium Boulevard from South Industrial Highway to Kipke Drive. Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said pregame traffic will be directed normally on Main Street and State Street, but the closed road should be taken into account.

“Bring a dose of patience, a sense of humor and some excitement for the game,” Bush said.

Alternative routes are advised, Bush said, but a delay is expected both before and after Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game against Air Force. Construction on the project began following the Wolverines’ home finale against Ohio State University in November 2011.

Homayoon Pirooz, the city of Ann Arbor’s Project Management manager, said football season definitely has played its part in the timing of the project. The start of the project purposely was planned to start after the end of last year’s season and he said one of the fears about the project was it would interrupt two football seasons.

“A lot of planning went into this and we were even looking at the possibility of missing two football seasons,” he said. “We’re only missing this season … and hoping it’ll be ready for next year.”

Traffic jams exacerbated by the closure of East Stadium Boulevard are expected to frequently occur during the 2012 season. If all goes to plan, East Stadium Boulevard is expected to open to traffic on Nov. 14, three days before the Wolverines’ final home game against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The normal southbound, one-way system on Main Street and Ann Arbor-Saline Road from Stadium Boulevard to Interstate 94 will be in effect after the game. South State Street will have two southbound lanes going toward I-94 from Stimson Street, Bush said.

University of Michigan officials released suggestions for fans coming into Ann Arbor on which freeway exit would best suit their route with the construction.

Fans coming from the northwest are encouraged to use exit 172 on I-94 or exit 2 or 3 on M-14. Fans coming from the northeast are encouraged to use US-23 exits 37B, 39 or 41. Fans coming from the southeast are encouraged to use exit 177 on I-94 or exit 37B on US-23. Fans coming from the southwest are encouraged to use exits 172, 175 or 177 on I-94.

After the game, fans are encouraged to find a route home through the north and west freeway interchanges as the south and east interchanges see much more heavy traffic.

University of Michigan Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said fans should do their best to get to the game early, if possible, to avoid long lines at the turnstiles.

“The gates open two hours before kickoff and we believe fans should go in that first hour,” she said. “There’s lots to do inside the stadium."

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

I have to say that I learned to hate the traffic here, too. The construction doesn't help matters at all. I also want to say that there is apparently a better way, but I don't know what it is. In Madison, WI, after a Badgers home game, I found it possible to drive to an apartment 2 blocks from the stadium, and then to a hotel 4 blocks from the other side of the stadium. This was done as quickly as if there was no game. There was traffic, yes, but mostly foot traffic, and it moved nearly perfect! Now that I live within blocks of the stadium, I don't really care much about the traffic. I get things done during the game, so it's of a minor inconvenience anymore.

Silly Sally

Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 11:22 a.m.

This has been a very poorly managed project. There is no reason why it could not have been finished by now. Other states have had far bigger bridges completed in less time. I often see no one working there, of few workers. Why is this so. With most Ann Arbor road projects, low cost is everything, and time is nothing. But time is money, and I'd bet that most people would gladly pay a little bit more to have shorter trips both in distance and time.


Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

It WOULD be really nice to see the bridge get done soon!!!

Silly Sally

Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

Why is it that when we type our comment, it is an 8 pt font, but when it is posted it is 3 times the size? Why not allow us to see our comments in the same size prior to posting them?


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

Patience??? I'm getting all that installed tonight!! 7 inch in-dash screen, 20" flip down monitor, i got 1000 watts of power in the trunk, and all that sitting on 28"s :) I will be ready to sit in traffic!!! Guess I gotta be from here to understand what all this complaining is about... What kind of traffic do A2 residents expect with a stadium that seats over 100,000 people lol.

Andrea Zastrow

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

You also should mention that Seventh was one way between Madison and Pauline, at least as of last night.

michael Limmer

Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

And what of East Stadium near Packard? The contractor removed 3-4 inches of asphalt in one of the westbound lanes. That leaves Stadium down to one lane each way in a fairly confusing routing that has seen all sorts of mistakes by drivers. Couldn't they have been told to wait until after the game?


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 10:15 p.m.

I believe it's open for the weekend (at least from what I could see when I turned north on Seventh from Madison). Here's to hoping!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

No kidding... this will have a far bigger impact on the flow of post-game traffic than anyone realizes. That is my usual route home from the game, and if you lolligag getting out of the stadium and to your car, you can normally plan on a crawl down 7th from Pauline to Liberty. With that option eliminated, it's going to be a big mess.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:49 p.m.

So what could happen if over an inch of rain falls tonight and the golf is closed?

Andrea Zastrow

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

Allmendinger Park residents do a happy dance and jack up the lawn parking rate? Or was that rhetorical?

Atticus F.

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Perhaps they should also ask that our lawmakers 'bring a dose of common sense' as it relates to restricting the flow of traffic going in and out of town?


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 10:53 p.m.

Perhaps the light signals dictate the flow...don't blame the po po!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

And if you don't have patience, maybe a dose of Xanax.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

And some others!!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

I'm not usually a fan of the "if you hate it so much, you can always move" argument, because frankly, some people can't just move. That being said, I'm a bit confused as to why someone would live in a very well known college town, with a very well known football stadium and program, and then get bent out of shape that for a handful of weekends getting around is a pain. Heaven help you if you ever have to commute to a job or navigate traffic in a real city! I imagine these are the same people who are shocked, shocked, that there is snow in the winter. I'll also say that having lived 4 blocks from the stadium for many years, it didn't have a huge impact on my life. If you hate football, and I can only imagine the naysayers here do, then just go out and get errands done during the game - most places are actually quite deserted and getting around is a breeze. I for one welcome the visitors - Go Blue!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

While moving is not a viable option for the fan haters, it does make a statement about maybe leaving town for a day and visiting friends or relatives. Football season only lasts three months and there will be two less home games than last year. Yes, welcome fans and Go Blue!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

Oh if only 6x per year I had to endure hoards of fans. The uom dumps their fans into my 'hood 40-50 times per year (football, basketball, hockey, graduation,...). I did notice street sweeping Thursday in preparation for the game. Of course the city is paid for the extra tidying up, right?

music to my ear

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

me stay home problem solved. the heavy traffic is good for the area merchants, its good for them.we all have to make sacrifices so as our brothers may prosper. in ann arbor. its what we do.

Ron Granger

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

'bring a dose of patience' Oh, I bring multiple doses. I carry them in a flask.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

I won't say what I'm bringing but from what I hear Ann Arbor folks love it :)


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

Good one.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Only 6 home football games this year. (and 1 hockey game)


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:26 p.m.

Chill Billy and Ricebrnr - 8 times a year we have traffic issues - BUT all the year we enjoy higher than state average home values - due completely to having UM here!. Small price to pay I say - stay home, watch the game - mow your lawn - go into town the next day if the traffic bothers you!

Silly Sally

Sat, Sep 8, 2012 : 11:13 a.m.

Why would I want " higher than state average home values"? It costs us more to buy, more to insure, and then higher property taxes. Oh, so silly! @applehazar is a speculator, I'm a resident.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

My complaint was less about the traffic and more about the GARBAGE left by all the out of towners...people never talk about that mess because then don't think about you nicely evidenced.

Chaz H

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

Blah blah blah... complain, complain, complain. The University of Michigan and the Stadium were here long before you ever lived in Ann Arbor (even if you were born here). Football traffic comes with the territory. You two sound like the people that move near the airport, then complain about the noise.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

Im from NY... What traffic in A2? Pssh you guys ca sit in traffic with your engine still running!!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

I can guarantee not ONE student was here before me.....


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

As someone who lives near Briarwood and has literakly been stuck in these messes for an hiur just within walking distance to my home and has no use for these games, i heartily agree


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 11:02 a.m.

My folks live about 4-5 blocks from the Stadium so I grew up with it. Game days were always so cool and exciting......until I got my drivers license...Then I quickly became jaded with game days. it makes it so much worse when you drive by Pihigh on stadium after everyone has cleared out.....and you see the disgusting trashy mess that they left. But at least THEY are a bunch of beer swilling's almost in their nature to be like this. The hash bash.....I thought these were a bunch of pro-environment people....hippies (not meant pejoratively) if you will? For THEM to leave the city trashed.....just seems hypocritical.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 10:45 a.m.

Honestly.....I hope the out of town fans suffer as much as possible while stuck in traffic. This is what you get for shutting my city down for half the day and the leaving it TRASHED when you depart... The only event that produces more street garbage in a shorter time frame is hash bash.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

guess you shouldn't live in a college town.


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

Negative attitude. This is Ann Arbor, home to a major university. Move to Harper Woods or Mt Clemens.

Josh Thiele

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.



Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

Car gets blocked in? One word: Brewer's


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

You sound like a real piece of work. This city thrives because the University is here...the University is not here because the city was awesome. Anyways, welcome to THE tens of thousands of out-of-city fans who will be pouring into Ann Arbor to enjoy the game and spend some dough while having a great time. BEAT AIR FORCE!


Fri, Sep 7, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

I hope your car gets blocked in.