Miami Beach Plans Traffic Loop, Huge Police Presence for Memorial Day Weekend

Categories: Road Rage

Photo by Discoizzy via Wikimedia Commons
Memorial Day weekend is just three days away. That means Urban Beach Week -- and its hundreds of thousands of revelers -- is once again slated to descend on Miami Beach. Three years ago the event was marred when police fired more than 100 shots in an incident that killed 22-year-old Raymond Herisse and injured bystanders. Since then authorities have significantly beefed up their presence, changed crowd-control procedures, and altered traffic patterns. This year Miami Beach Police say they're once again ready for the crowds.

"This is our Super Bowl," Miami Beach Police spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez told Riptide. "We prepare all year for this."

See also: Man Hides Urban Beach Weekend Shooting Video From Investigators in His Mouth

Hernandez said this year's security plan will largely follow last year's event, which was mostly without incident. Beginning 8 p.m. Friday evening a DUI checkpoint will be in effect for drivers heading into Miami Beach, and eastbound MacArthur Causeway traffic will be narrowed to one lane.

As was the case last year, automated license plate readers will be used on the MacArthur, Venetian, and Julia Tuttle causeways to search for wanted persons or stolen vehicles attempting to enter Miami Beach.

The notorious "traffic loop" system will also be in effect beginning Friday. Between Fifth and 16th streets, Collins Avenue will be open northbound only and Washington Avenue southbound only, and all entrances to side roads such as Euclid and Meridian avenues will be open to residents only, ensuring that Urban Beach Week cruisers and visitors remain confined to a limited traffic pattern.

via City of Miami Beach
The traffic pattern on Washington Avenue; a similar pattern going northbound will be enforced on Alton Road.
"If you're coming to the beach to have a good time, we encourage you to come find a parking space," Hernandez said. "If not, you're going to stay on this carousel the entire time all the way until you leave Miami Beach again."

Police presence for the weekend will also greatly increase. In addition to a massive nerve center set up to monitor real-time feed from a litany of cameras set up throughout South Beach, as many as 450 officers from numerous county departments will be assigned to the area during the busy 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. shift. Only 20 are typically working in Miami Beach during the same shift.

The increased presence, Hernandez said, ensures that an officer is always within shouting distance and is aimed at preempting the "snowball effect" of minor incidents quickly escalating into more serious problems in the absence of authorities.

"Residents, business owners, and tourists," Hernandez said, "those are the three areas we're concerned with."

As for Herisse's case, it's still open three years later. Hernandez told the Miami Herald in January that the department had finally passed its investigators' findings on to the state attorney's office but that they "are complicated."

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62 comments
KRKRKR
KRKRKR

I have been a resident of Miami Beach for over 5 years and I realize that it is uncomfortable during Memorial weekend, however I was not at Luxury to take a vacation during this time this year as I have done previous years. The streets are blocked off and signs indicate Resident traffic only. I am coming from work with loads of supplies and I live and have garage parking in my building on Collins ave (making me a RESIDENT) YET I was denied entry to my own residence. One officer told me to get out of the car and walk home (which he said would be the only way I could get onto my street, I was several blocks away at this point) so I proceeded to ride closer to my block and this time the officer on the corner of 7th and Collins refused me entry. I told him I am a resident and have parking and am coming from work. After verbally pushing me away telling me to "LEAVE" I said to him "but I live here" and he replies "No you don't". Instead of asking me for identification or proof or residence they refused to even listen to me. I then offered to show him my ID and he just blurted out "well then go and get it. Luckily I had my cable bill and identification with me however when I approached him with it he immediately turned to me telling me to "get out of here and proceeded to turn to ignore me only acknowledging me again after I had to shout "here is my identification and address" then he finally had to let me onto my block. I don't understand why they are making an uncomfortable situation more uncomfortable for the residents who live on Washington, Collins or Ocean by not being professional at all. I would have thought that protocol would have been to ask any person claiming to be resident for identification instead of being nasty and denying people entry to their own home/neighborhood. This is simply unacceptable and I would expect more from the Miami police. I don't want to have to go through this for the rest of this weekend or any other year that I have to stay in my city to work.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

............what a waste of resources by those who can afford it the least

Eddie Allen Jackson
Eddie Allen Jackson

URBAN BEACH WEEK.. IS WACK and it's aimed at BLACKS . they don't do all that shit during winter music conference and those kids be HIGH as hell and drunk as Hell. THEY DO IT ALL FOR THE BLACK PEOPLE. When will BLACK PEOPLE LEARN MIAMI dont want you there. WHY COME EVERY YEAR just to make a ass of yourself. MIAMI DONT WANT NI99ers YES. IF THEY COULD SAY IT THEY WOULD. SO MIAMI STOP FRONTIN KEEP IT REAL AND BLACK PEOPLE KEEP IT REAL. REMEMBER FREEK NEEK IN ATLANTA...GA ? BLACK PEOPLE ALWAYS GOING SOMEWHERE WE NOT WELCOME LOL.

Manny Delgado
Manny Delgado

Mario Mcfly. Fernando RE Villegas. Fernando Garcia. Rudie Opinion Castro. Lenny Leroy Casilla. Robert M Mondry. Travis Fort

Familia Ramirez
Familia Ramirez

It seams to me that a logical solution to this so called event would be to relocate it somewhere else. The city and business owners don't want the crowds. The people attending feel uncomfortable and discriminated. So why not just relocate it somewhere else?

Jenni Warjas Morales
Jenni Warjas Morales

I assume this is more of a heads-up for locals who don't live on the beach but unfortunately have to allow an extra couple of hours to get to work if they are unfortunate enough to have to work in this mess. The beach does not make $$ from this "event." The cost of adding 430 police officers, safety barricades, watchtowers & cleaning up all the extra garbage far exceeds the tax revenue it brings in. With few exceptions, residents hate it & so do business owners. The weekend's sales figures do not cover the cost of additional security, repairing property damage & decreased revenue from locals who feel the need to evacuate. The city could've put a stop to this shit years ago, but the police department is too afraid of appearing racist to let the cops do their jobs & ticket people for breaking our laws. Sad because Memorial Day Weekend is a huge moneymaker in every other beach town in America.

Hernando_Sucio
Hernando_Sucio

Is there going to be a designated "bunker" or sand-bagged fox hole so we can duck for cover when the shooting starts?    Can we rent Kevlar sheets to carry around ?

William Eilers
William Eilers

It's not a constitutional issue, unless they break the 4th Amendment. It's also not "telling the drunk drivers where not to be". It's pretty obvious that it is intended to scare people from going out on the Beach. They are trying to phase the party out.

Brent Dixon
Brent Dixon

I've lived on South Beach the last three years and have seen Urban Beach week 3 yrs now. There might be 15 to 20 thousands kids that come here. The article said hundreds of thousands...are you kidding me...there will be even less this year...the kids are catching on...

Matthew Crenshaw
Matthew Crenshaw

Tempt that. Damn auto correct sorry for the preemptive post

Matthew Crenshaw
Matthew Crenshaw

Sorry posted early. Falls under tony prietos description and should be arrested anyway.. Thanks for the laugh tony that's one of the better comments I have come across in a while.

Matthew Crenshaw
Matthew Crenshaw

One for those if you upset about this posting you can have relief in the fact anyone who is subscribed to the new times probably isn't dumb enough to tempt the jungle that becomes Miami beach on memorial weekend. Anyone who had a problem with my description just YouTube hip hop weekend and please give me a better description. Two anyone who does and are that feat falls under

charlettejimerson
charlettejimerson

I hate that urban beach thing I am from miami born and raised I love my city these losers don't respect Miami and the people that leave here just groupie holiday and wannabes that flock down here to pretend to be something they aren't

Kenneth Carrera
Kenneth Carrera

feels a bit excessive. things will go over smooth as long as the Miami Beach Police officers behave like professionals....

Derek Robleto
Derek Robleto

Remember that your constitutional rights still apply in a roadblock situation. Though police are permitted to stop you briefly, they may not search you or your car unless they have probable cause that you’re under the influence or you agree to the search. As such, you are not required to answer their questions or admit to breaking the law.

Lijia Loria
Lijia Loria

This is the time where Miamians go to other beaches ie keywest!

Franco Lopez
Franco Lopez

Idiot cops. Having on the way OUT of the beach.

Danielle Little
Danielle Little

At least 10 years ago it was actually an ok place to go. the beach makes money off of it so it's not going anywhere

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Don't worry Ismael Antonio Sanabria, they'll catch enough of them. They'll still try to get away with it.

Holly Villa
Holly Villa

I won't be anywhere near the beach on Memorial Day weekend... No thanks

Vince Witty
Vince Witty

Baylink would be awesome right about now....

Cary Cary
Cary Cary

Ugh...that team of year again...

MiamiBeach22
MiamiBeach22

Why can't they just cancel the "Urban Beach Weekend" nonsense and just have a normal Memorial Day Weekend like other beach towns. So sad when locals feel the need to flee town for the weekend.

Massiel Cuellar
Massiel Cuellar

Omg how I hate memorial weekend. I work on the beach too. Hoping my manager will let me change my shift to our other work site that's not near the beach.

Robert Roderick Rodriguez
Robert Roderick Rodriguez

I love this, till eventually will become so hard for the "Urban" fest will stop flocking Down here

DrumRollPlease
DrumRollPlease

Police love this event because of the overtime.  This weekend is worth several thousand dollars in overtime for the average officer.  The police are also showing racism by shutting down the causeway to one lane.  They don't do that for any other event.  They are creating choke points which prevent people from getting to the beach. 

Glenn Gruber
Glenn Gruber

Why post about it? Why report it? Why not just let DUI drivers get caught? don't give heads up for potential drunk drivers where not to drive....

Tu Madre
Tu Madre

Who's going there?!? Not ME!

bobloblawsblog
bobloblawsblog

Are you serious?? When do you see the crowd that comes for WMC creating chaos as crowd that comes for Memorial Day? Black people are doing this on their own, who is forcing them to carry guns, to provoke violence, to cause chaos?? No one but them! Where the fuck do you live?? This is the reality. 

bobloblawsblog
bobloblawsblog

Beach makes money? Funny....all I see is the people bringing their own liquor and hanging on the street. No spending here...

charlettejimerson
charlettejimerson

OMG I feel your pain I worked on sunny aisles beach a year and half ago and those outta town no manner not use to palm trees and sand losers.

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