Police to restrict Venetian Causeway to Miami Beach, Miami residents only for Urban Weekend

The Miami Herald has outlined elaborate plans to control crowds and traffic during Miami Beach’s Urban Weekend later this month, and a key feature involves restricting the Venetian Causeway to use only by Miami and Miami Beach residents.

The overall proposal includes measures that will impact traffic on all three causeways to south and middle Miami Beach.

The steps are extraordinary; the potential result on traffic is hard to imagine.

On the MacArthur and Tuttle, police plan to use license plate readers with multi-angle scanners to take down license plate numbers to screen for drivers with arrest warrants, and for stolen cars and expired registrations. There will be DUI checkpoints on the MacArthur between 8 p.m. and morning.

We all know how backups on the Tuttle or MacArthur causeways can cause gridlock on the Venetian, so this is sure to put unprecedented pressure on island neighborhood traffic.

The solution to that issue — and the weekend plan — is to make the Venetian Causeway a Miami and Miami Beach residents-only crossing.

Details are sketchy, but the city says this will be done by the honor system, bolstered by signage and a major police presence.

Meanwhile, the main South Beach party corridor of Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue will have severe traffic restrictions. The Herald says: “Ocean Drive will be closed, Collins Avenue will be one-way heading north, and Washington Avenue will be one-way heading south, creating a loop to control cruising and lead drivers into city parking lots. Roadblocks will be erected on many of the cross streets off Fifth, Ocean, Collins and Washington.”

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21 responses to “Police to restrict Venetian Causeway to Miami Beach, Miami residents only for Urban Weekend

  1. Debra Leibowitz

    Based on the City’s current plan, we should request a police presence on the Venetian Causeway. It’s going to be a disaster if everyone tries to dodge checkpoints on MacArthur and 1-95 by taking the Venetians on an “honor system”. Additionally, is it possible to request limited bridge openings that weekend? Otherwise, we are going to end up being prisoners on our islands, yet again!!!

  2. Paul orofino

    overcrowding is dangerous. Once bars and restaurants reach their legal capacity of patrons, they are required to close the doors and not allow any more people in. South Beach should do the same on Memorial Weekend. Once the beach is filled to capacity, no more people should be allowed in.

    • I don’t mind as long as this is done for every event across the board..including the Super Bowl events on South Beach…it can’t just be on the weekend when most of the visitors coming to South Beach happen to be black….this is a tourist destination…and cherry picking your visitors don’t seem right….

      • Paul orofino

        You are SO WRONG. Memorial Day weekend IS the ONLY weekend that has all these problems to such an extent. No other weekend has half the problems that we have Memorial Weekend so get over it and don’t take it as being a racist thing. I happen to be an afro american myself and am embarrassed for my race at what i see going on…Vulgar language yelled out to the beautifully dressed girls, ass grabbing in public, and a preponderance of weapons that are confiscated every year on this particular weekend. Sure, all these things happen at other weekend events here but certainly not to such a degree as Urban Weekend in South Beach.

  3. amazing that they don’t do this during the wine and food festials when everyone is getting drunk out their minds and still driving.

    • I so agree with you tomuchbs… it just seems so selective on what events the police double-down on…but then I have to remember that a little over 50years ago…black people could not go on Miami beach unless they showed their “papers” showing who they were working for…..

      • Paul orofino

        Your comment sounds a little racist to me, sorry to say. But why are you bringing up the past when our future is now?

      • it sounds racist because what was done back then was racist..yes the future is now..but to understand why somethings in the present and for the future..is to understand your past..

      • Paul orofino

        The bottom line is trying to figure out a way to control too many people in too small a space on Memorial Weekend. It has nothing to do with racism. Just as any building has a limit on how many people can occupy it for safety reasons, so should our city limit the number of people who occupy it at any one time. Once we have reached the maximum number of people on the beach, we should put up road blocks and only allow residents to enter.

  4. tomuchbs- They don’t do this during the Wine and Food Festival because it’s not the same thing. During the WFF, you don’t have people defecating in yards, doing drugs openly on the streets, causing fights, destruction of private property, and specifically, having shootouts. Racist or not, this is the only weekend out of 52 in the year that this happens. If they (the Hip Hop wkend visitors) don’t like the labels then they should clean up their act- This would be a great weekend for them to show they can. Will they? Not likely.

    • Paul orofino

      Well said!!!

    • Knowing people that work for the Miami Beach Police, I know for a fact that memorial day weekend is “not” the only weekend that defecating in yards, doing drugs openly, fights, shootings, etc..happen on Sobe…but it seems the media picks and chooses which events/incidents to focus on… we have a difference of opinion…my opinion is instead of addressing the issues and reaching out and organizing the events more cordially …they choose to address it as if it was a “police state”..

      • Exactly happens every weekend. Just not reported like memorial day. Wonder why

      • Paul orofino

        O.K. everybody. Lets calm down a little. After all, we all live here on South Beach (at least I hope) and want our neighborhood to be safe every day of the year. No one can deny that the same problems that appear on Urban Weekend also happen at other events also. The difference is that the problems on Memorial Weekend seem to occur on a much larger scale than on the other event weekends. Why? because there are so many more people here on Memorial weekend than on any other weekend and they are here to PARTY, not to experience wine and food, works of art, or celebrate our Art Deco architecture. Too many people, no matter what their race, mixed with too little space and too much booze and drugs is a recipe for disaster any place.

    • I have lived on the beach and have seen people come into my yard and defecat in my yard on a regular weekend. I have seen people on the street snort cocaine with my own eyes openly. I have seen and heard men calling women out of their names. And when you say shoot out it implys that two parties were shooting at each other. When in fact and on record the police opened fire on a busy south beach street and were the only ones “shooting out”. The wine and food festival is just one example of criminal activate. I’ve worked the festival for several years and have seen people trying to steal bottles and police escort druken patrons out. They’ve pissed on the streets and allies. There is ultra where I see wide spread drug use and winter music festival. if you think this happens only on memorial day then you do not go out and only read the paper or some internet blog

  5. The Cheese and Wine festival does not create the gridlock traffic, nor fill up the bars till 4am the way that Urban Beach Weekend does. Nor does it cause as much disruption to residents of the Beach.That is why there is that much proportional police enforcement and racism has nothing to do with anything here. Pulling the race card is garbage.

  6. The police cause more problems than they contain. The police hit four innocent bystanders with bullets last year. Everyone knows SOBE is home to some of the dirtiest cops in America. You cab’t have a tourist driven economy and complain when too many people show up. Urban week put SOBE on the map.

  7. They need to apply these same rules to any event where historically there are over 100 arrests related to given event.

  8. Pingback: Venetian Causeway only for Residents this Weekend [City And County « Miami News] – Downtown Miami News

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