The Miami Beach Police Department has scheduled something called a “Memorial Day Symposium” to discuss traffic, security and crowd management preparations for the annual Urban Weekend.
The meeting happens at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8 at the Miami Beach Police Department Community Room, 1100 Washington Ave.
Last year, Miami Beach police had officers on nearly every corner of the Venetian Causeway islands, with signs posted warning drivers the causeways was for locals only.
A traffic control strategy squeezed eastbound traffic from Miami to Miami Beach from three lanes to one at certain times on the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways, and license tag scanners were used to check for drivers with outstanding arrest warrants.
Police used DUI checkpoints as well.
We’ll see if the plan for 2013 is as aggressive.
“The primary goal of the Police Department during this weekend is to maintain public safety for residents and visitors and to proactively address issues….to reduce potential future problems,” according to the city email announcing Wednesday’s meeting.
“Are you going or staying?”
That’s the elevator talk on Belle Isle this week as residents mull whether to stay in Miami Beach for Memorial Day weekend.
It’s always a crazy busy time, with a huge crush of party people on the Ocean Drive-Collins Avenue corridor. It also a wild time for people watching around the beach, and a good opportunity to get into restaurants on the west side of the city as the Beach locals thin out.
But after the violence last year, the city has initiated a huge crowd and traffic control plan that will make it challenging to go to and from the mainland, and will turn the South Beach Collins corridor into continuous loop surrounded by dead-ends and barricades. Ocean Drive from Fifth to 15 streets will be open to pedestrians only. East/west streets along Washington and Collins avenues from Fifth to 16 streets will be restricted to local residential traffic only.
Causeway will be jammed, and the city plans a DUI checkpoint on the MacArthur eastbound on Friday night. The city plans to make the Venetian Causeway residents only.
There’s a public relations campaign too — “Respect the Scene” is the watchword from Miami Heat stars Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem, with this tagline: “This is your time to chill. Remember to respect the city that made it possible.”
We’re coming up on a year since Memorial Day 2011, the Urban Weekend that ended so tragically with a death and gunfire from Miami Beach police on Ocean Drive.
The city of Miami Beach has begun a series of community meetings to explain its plans for crowd management during Memorial Day 2013. They happen on Thursday nights at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Dr., through May 17.
From the Miami Beach notice: “Learn important information about how the city is preparing for crowd management during Memorial Day weekend when large numbers of visitors are expected. An extensive mobility plan is planned that may impact our residents.”