Curfews and Causeway Closures

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Curfews and Causeway Closures:

What you need to know for this weekend in Miami Beach

With heavy Spring Break crowds overwhelming the City, Interim City Attorney Raul Aguila declared a State of Emergency this past weekend which included an early curfew in the South Beach Entertainment District and causeway closures to limit the number of people coming eastbound into the City.

During an emergency City Commission meeting on Sunday, Commissioners agreed to give Aguila the ability to continue emergency measures through April 12, if needed. Those measures include a continued early curfew in the Entertainment District (also known as the Art Deco Cultural District or ADCD) Thursday evenings through Monday morning. Causeway closures to limit the number of people coming into the City will also continue during those times though the implementation of them has been modified in an effort to eliminate the long traffic jams from the initial weekend.


Here’s what you need to know:

The following measures will be in effect the evening of Thursday, March 25 through Monday morning, March 29 at 6 am.
 
Curfew

A curfew from 8 pm through 6 am will be imposed only in the area bounded by 5th Street on the south, 16th Street on the north, Pennsylvania Avenue on the west, and Ocean Drive on the east which is being called the “High Impact Zone.”

NOTE: This curfew does NOT apply to the rest of the City which remains under a midnight COVID curfew.

In response to concerns about the crowds being pushed west into the Flamingo Park neighborhood as happened last weekend, Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said, “The Miami Beach Police Department will monitor the flow of pedestrian traffic from the ADCD and assign police resources to the Washington Avenue area to prevent overflow into the Flamingo Park neighborhood as best as possible. Goodwill Ambassadors will also be deployed in an effort to remind crowds of the curfew and in order to facilitate the dissipation of pedestrian traffic.”
 
Causeways

MacArthur Causeway eastbound lanes will be closed to traffic from 10 pm each evening through 6 am the following day except for City residents, guests of City hotels and vacation rental properties, and employees of City businesses. 

Motorists will see a single checkpoint at the west end of the causeway. Visitor traffic will be directed to the left where it will be turned around just past the tunnel. Residents, public transportation, deliveries and employees of Miami Beach businesses will be directed toward the right to enter the City.

Venetian Causeway eastbound lanes will be closed to traffic from 10 pm through 6 am except in the case of City residents, deliveries, and employees of City businesses.

What you’ll need to access the City: 
  • Miami Beach residents must show a valid Florida identification card, driver’s license or utility bill indicating a Miami Beach address. 
  • Hotel and vacation rental guests must show their lodging confirmation or hotel key card that indicates where they are staying. 
  • Employees of Miami Beach businesses can show their employee identification cards.
  • Visitors with restaurant reservations booked after 10 pm should show a confirmation of the reservation.

Julia Tuttle Causeway: The Miami Beach Police Department will deploy license plate readers (LPRs) in lieu of a checkpoint starting at 10 pm each evening through 6 am the following day. The LPR will be positioned at the “Welcome to Miami Beach” sign. Traffic will be directed into the left lane (to 41st Street) and right lane (to Alton Road) with the center lane closed to all traffic. 

The City believes this setup “should be faster than residency checks,” according to an announcement of the traffic plan. “Motorists will not have to come to a complete stop. There won’t typically be any interaction with officers except in the case of vehicles that are the subject of an LPR alert.”
 
Restaurant Operations

All sidewalk café operations including extended seating within the High Impact Zone will be suspended from 7 pm through 6 am. All sidewalk café operators must stack or remove tables and chairs no later than 8 pm each night.

Restaurants within the High Impact Zone may continue to operate for delivery services only.  
 
Ocean Drive

Ocean Drive will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic from 8 pm through 6 am except to City residents requiring access to or from their homes, guests of hotels and vacation rental properties, requiring access to or from their hotels/vacation rentals, and employees of business establishments. 

Other public roads within the High Impact Zone may be closed as deemed necessary by the Interim City Manager or Chief of Police.

As it did this past weekend, “The City strongly urges all businesses in the High Impact Zone to close voluntarily during the State of Emergency.”


Photo: Miami Beach PD

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