Police: Ride-sharing contributing to MGM traffic woes

WASHINGTON —  MGM National Harbor opened this weekend to rave reviews and — at times — frustrating traffic congestion. But police and the casino are completing details on a new plan to improve traffic flow that involves Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing firms.

“The collective opinion is that this is a much larger success than anyone could have foreseen,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski about MGM’s grand opening. The facility was full to capacity since its grand opening Thursday night.

Stawinski said the police department did great work achieving its goal of keeping traffic moving as much as possible in and around the casino. But there’s a problem being created by ride-sharing drivers, who are not stopping in the designated area at MGM.

“I know that people would like to be dropped off right at the front door, but unfortunately this volume of people … it just doesn’t facilitate that,” Stawinski said.

Stawinski said traffic backups were worsened by ride-share drivers who didn’t stop in the designated area.

“Throughout this process, what we’ve seen is ride sharing stopping in the middle of the roadway, stopping at the curb and putting on flashers … all those individual little stops are adding up, and they’re creating the problems that we tried very hard in our planning to avoid,” Stawinski said.

Stawinski made clear that he’s not blaming ride sharing, but said he wants the cooperation or ride-sharing drivers.

The police chief said MGM were working with Uber to provide new guidance for its ride-sharing app — the goal is to get ride-share drivers to stop only in the designated area at MGM National Harbor.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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