Miami Beach South Beach sunset in Ocean Drive Florida Art Deco and car lights – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by lunamarina
Sunday afternoon, the Miami Beach City Commission held an emergency meeting to address the spring break chaos unfolding in South Beach. In the meeting, commissioners ruled to extend curfews and causeway closures going into Miami Beach to handle unruly spring break crowds.
The curfew was placed over the weekend as crowds in the area became unruly and destroyed city and local business property on multiple occasions, as well as held up traffic on multiple streets and avenues. The area under the heaviest surveillance is the Art Deco area along South Beach.
As it stands, the curfew will be enforced Thursday through Sunday until at least April 12, which marks the official end of spring break. The 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew is for the area between 5th Street on the south, 16th Street on the north, Pennsylvania Avenue on the west, and Ocean Drive on the east.
Areas outside of the aforementioned zone are accessible for residents and visitors after the curfew begins at 8 p.m. These areas include: Collins Park, Lincoln Road, South of Fifth, Sunset Harbor, 41st Street, and North Beach.
To date, Miami Beach police have made more than 1,000 arrests in the past month, and this weekend included two arrests during a traffic stop where guns, ammunition, and crystal meth were found. All in all, this weekend alone resulted in over 50 arrests and eight gun confiscations.
“If you’re going to come down here and enjoy yourself, that’s fine. But if you’re going to push those limits and break those rules, we have an obligation to intervene and stop it,” Miami Beach police chief Richard Clements said during WPLG Local 10′s Sunday morning show, “This Week In South Florida.”
Over the weekend, major causeways leading into the city were shut down early, causing an uproar from city residents who reported being stuck in traffic for up to four hours. The traffic was so bad; some cars were left without gas.
While the causeway closures will remain in place, the city is considering a dedicated lane for city residents and moved the causeway closures to 10 p.m. rather than this past weekend’s 8 p.m. start.
Workers, residents, and people with hotel reservations will be the only people allowed to go eastbound into Miami Beach outside of the curfew hours.
Spring Break in Miami is not over for many out-of-state residents, but many South Florida residents who enjoy the beach are staying away from the area for the foreseeable future due to the unrest, chaos, and uncertainty moving forward through the month.
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William is the Managing Editor at FloridaInsider.com. His years of experience in journalism, broadcasting and multimedia include roles as a Writer and Web Producer. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science and Communication.