Miami Beach Message to Spring Breakers: Vacation Responsibly or Be Arrested

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach Message to Spring Breakers: Vacation Responsibly or Be Arrested:

Enhanced safety measures take effect February 22

With the usual Spring Break challenges compounded this year by public health concerns due to the pandemic, Miami Beach is putting visitors on notice: Vacation responsibly or be arrested.

Interim City Manager Raul Aguila said the City has “a rich history of welcoming the world to our beautiful backyard” but there will be “zero tolerance for street fights, theft of any kind and illegal drug use. That simply puts our visitors and residents at risk of serious injury, or worse.”

One local business didn’t exactly get the message. The Clevelander posted a sign indicating “Misbehavior encouraged.” According to City spokeswoman Melissa Berthier, following a complaint to the City, it was immediately removed after they were cited for not having a permit for the sign.

   


Enhanced Safety Measures to Go Into Effect:

To protect the “public health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors,” a number of enhanced safety measures will take effect beginning Monday, February 22 through April 12, 2021.

According to the City's announcement, they include:
 
  • All direct or indirect consumption of alcohol will be prohibited on public beaches.
  • Limitation of live or amplified music which includes the suspension of the noise exemption for properties located from 9th to 11th Streets on the west side of Ocean Drive.
  • Local access restrictions will be enforced on some city streets to limit traffic to residents and people going to businesses.
  • Capacity limits will be placed on high-traffic public beaches.
  • Coolers, inflatable devices, tents, tables and similar objects will be prohibited from public beaches.
  • License Plate Reader police details will be placed on access points to Miami Beach, including the MacArthur and Julia Tuttle causeways.
  • Suspension, or the issuance, of a business tax receipt (“BTR”) to promoters for any dance or entertainment events to be held at an alcoholic beverage establishment located in the Art Deco Cultural District (ADCD).
The ADCD is also referred to as the MXE District and CD-2 District, which encompasses parts of Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue between 5th and 16th streets, including Española Way.
 
  • Suspension and closure of all or part of sidewalk café operations located in the ADCD at 12 am each night (including, without limitation, the removal of all or any sidewalk café furniture).
 
CURFEW AND PACKAGE LIQUOR SALES
The countywide COVID curfew remains in effect from midnight to 6 am.

All package liquor sales will cease citywide in Miami Beach after 10 pm and after 8 pm in the ADCD.

TRAFFIC PLAN
To reduce “the instances of traffic that is merely cruising around the South of Fifth Street (“SOFI”) neighborhood,” the City notes that the Miami Beach Police Department (MBPD) will implement a traffic plan that will be activated each weekend in March:

Motorists will be able to access the SOFI neighborhood only via Alton Road and Washington Avenue. Police officers will be assigned to the two designated SOFI entrances. Private security will be assigned to all other traffic posts.

A police License Plate Reader detail will be positioned along the 5th Street corridor each weekend to screen incoming traffic. If necessary, the MacArthur Causeway will be closed to incoming traffic.

PARKING
A flat parking rate of $20 per vehicle will be imposed at all City parking garages in the Art Deco Cultural District (except for access card holders). This includes garages at 7th Street and Collins Avenue, 12th Street and Washington Avenue, 13th Street and Collins Avenue and the Anchor Garage on 16th Street.

These garages will operate at 50% capacity. No in/out will be permitted. The $20 rate is good for a single entrance and exit. Once each garage reaches 50% capacity, security will limit access to card holders, City residents, area hotel guests, and area employees. ID will be required to prove eligibility.

On-street parking will be prohibited along Collins Avenue in the ADCD. On-street parking between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive and 5th and 15th Streets will only be available to residents with a Residential Zone 5 parking permit.

ILLEGAL BOAT CHARTERS AND PARTY BOATS
The City continues its collaborative effort with the U.S. Coast Guard working with MBPD's Marine Patrol to enforce local, state, and federal laws and to address the "proliferation of llegal charters."

CITY STAFFING
Staffing levels for Police, Code Compliance and Fire Rescue "will be significantly enhanced" throughout the duration of the High Impact Period from February 22 through April 12. Goodwill ambassadors will also provide safety and other information for visitors.


For more information, visit www.mbspringbreak.com.

Aerial Photo: Spring Break 2019, courtesy Miami Beach Police Department
Clevelander Photo: Courtesy Miami Design Preservation League

 

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