Police this year are trying to make Art Basel — at least in Wynwood — more friendly for pedestrians by closing a main thoroughfare to vehicle traffic this weekend.
Northwest Second Avenue, from 22nd through 29th streets, will be closed to traffic from Friday through Sunday in an effort to accommodate the overflowing crowds that often stray from the sidewalks and spill into the street.
Police will also install barricades at some intersections, keeping in mind recent vehicular terror attacks in Europe, and the October attack on a New York City jogging and biking trail that led to eight deaths.
Police in Miami, however, say there are no specific threats that are causing the street closures.
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“Absolutely not,” said Miami Assistant Chief of Police Jorge Colina. “We are just taking precautions, mindful of what happened around the world.”
Northwest Second Avenue will be closed at 4 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday. It will close again at 3 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Police said there will be some other minor street closures along avenues in the area as the need arises.
Colina said the streets will reopen to traffic if the crowds that are expected don’t show or if there is less than the expected foot traffic because of bad weather. He said it’s no different than street closings during the Coconut Grove Arts Festival.
“We want people to be able to enjoy Art Basel,” Colina said.