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.”