With SpringFest slated to take place at the University of Michigan Wednesday, a series of road closures approved by the city of Ann Arbor will go into effect early Wednesday morning.
SpringFest, which is hosted by MUSIC Matters, is an annual event that features activities around innovation, art and music. The event will be located on both North University Avenue and the Diag.
As a part of the festivities, North University Avenue between Thayer Street and Fletcher Street will be closed all of Wednesday, April 13. Additionally, event planners expect large crowds will be drawn to the closing concert featuring headliner Migos, which will occur at 8 p.m. in Hill Auditorium, potentially causing traffic issues for local residents.
City Councilmember Kirk Westphal (D–Ward 2), an urban planner by trade, saud despite closures, events are typically welcomed by local residents.
“Most folks I interact with really value all the cultural events going on in Ann Arbor, and street fairs and events certainly have a role in that,” Westphal said. “The beauty of events that happen downtown is that typically since we have a street grid that doesn’t cause more inconveniences than benefits. So whether it’s University or a private organization, historically council has welcomed limited street closures”
City Communications Specialist Robert Kellar said University street closures can occasionally prompt local resident complaints due to the nature of the events, but University events specifically do not generate a large number of complaints throughout the year.
“University events tend to generate few complaints as they impact mainly those near campus,” Kellar said. “Most concerns are about access, inconvenience, timing or notification. We try to be proactive by asking applicants to submit a communication plan; we also utilize the city e-mail notifications as well as social media, and directing residents/businesses to signing up on the street closure website so they are aware in advance of closures.”
If local residents have concerns or complaints about the traffic surrounding University related outdoor events, they can share them on the city’s Traffic Complaint page.