“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.”