Detroit's Potential MLS Franchise Creates A Potential Traffic Nightmare

All the buzz in Detroit, Michigan lately has been about sports. The Tigers have started their season, the Red Wings and Pistons made the playoffs, the Lions have their new class of players, and rumors of a Detroit MLS franchise spark controversy. On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, it was announced by a number of news outlets that Detroit billionaire and owner of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert, is entering a joint venture with current Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, to invest in a stadium at the current site of the Wayne County jail on Gratiot Avenue in downtown Detroit, for the use of soccer, rugby, or lacrosse. Although these are still just rumors, it has many Detroiters wondering what may become of this investment.

Detroit MLS Soccer Team

The MLS typically has its season starting in March and ending in October. This overlaps with the MLB, which typically runs from April through October, the NFL, which typically runs from September through February, and the NHL, which typically runs from October through April. This means that during any one month, there are at least two Detroit sports teams currently contending in their leagues, which potentially means home games in Detroit. (Although the Detroit Pistons currently play in Auburn Hills, there has been rumor of their move back to Detroit in the not too distant future.) This would mean that there could be 5 major league sports teams playing within a 10-15 minute walk of one another, and considering the Pistons also play from October through April, this could really lead to some traffic woes for sports fans and Detroiters living and commuting in the area.

The unification of all of these teams in downtown Detroit would really put stress on major roadways like Woodward, Jefferson, Gratiot, and Michigan Avenues. This would also put a lot of traffic on the major highways near downtown, such as I-75, I-375, I-94, I-96, The Lodge, and all of their tributaries, before and after games. With most people coming to sporting events in Detroit not living downtown, this really puts a lot of pressure on these roadways, and on other services like restaurants, public transportation, and hotels as well. The completion of the M-1 Rail, or QLine, will drastically help the traffic issue, but will still only take a small chunk out of the thousands of Detroit sports fans attempting to get into the city on game day. 

Increased game day traffic is an issue because accidents often happen when people are frustrated by built up traffic. Stop and go traffic leads to drivers not paying attention and bumping into one another and road rage car crashes. Traffic in downtown areas can also lead to pedestrian and bicycle accidents. City streets are not typically jammed packed in Detroit, and many drivers are not used to driving in a city like Detroit, with its many one way streets and multiple stop signs, and Michigan lefts. This can lead to confusion and accidents between cars, pedestrians and cars, bicyclists and cars, and even pedestrians and bicycles.

Although, by ramping up police enforcement on game days and increasing public transportation from areas in which sports fans are coming from, the city may be able to curb this traffic issue that is now looming with the potential for two new teams moving into downtown Detroit (MLS and the return of the Pistons). However, this is not a guarantee, and even if it were, accident are still bound to happen.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.