City, UM Reach Partial Deal on Football Traffic

In a press release issued late on Friday, Aug. 26 by the city of Ann Arbor communications unit, the city of Ann Arbor announced that the city and the University of Michigan had reached an agreement on football game day traffic control. Under the agreement, the university will reimburse the city for costs of providing traffic control services on home football Saturdays.

The agreement came after the Ann Arbor city council passed a resolution at its Aug. 15, 2011 meeting directing its city administrator not to provide traffic control services unless the university reimbursed the city for those costs in the same way the university reimburses costs for police and fire protection on game days.

However, the agreement will mean a reduced level of service. For example, the city will not provide traffic control before the games or manual operation of traffic signals at major intersections like State Street & Eisenhower or State & Briarwood. The city’s press release warns that increased traffic congestion might result, compared to what people have historically experienced.

An exception to the reduced level of service is one game on Sept. 10, for which Ann Arbor will provide the full level of service that the city has provided in the past. That’s the date of the game against Notre Dame, which will be played at night.

Interim city administrator Tom Crawford had indicated at the council’s Aug. 15 meeting that his discussions with the university included the possibility of reimbursement for last year’s service. The estimated cost per year of the traffic control service given at the meeting was $100,000. Update: Via city communications manager Lisa Wondrash, according to interim city administrator Tom Crawford, the reduced level of traffic control services provided by the city will be reimbursed by the university at a level of $2,800 per game.

The press release issued on Aug. 26 does not include dollar figures for the reduced level of service that the university has agreed to reimburse the city, nor any information about whether the agreement is retroactive. [.pdf of press release]