The Ocean Drive debate is not over as far as the Beach’s elected officials are concerned.
In the wake of a failed referendum to roll back hours of alcohol sales, newly-minted Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and the City Commission still want to discuss how to “clean up” the popular tourist street that is home to several cafes and bars. Across the community, there is no strong consensus on what exactly is wrong with Ocean Drive, other than the general fear the beachside promenade is devolving into a Bourbon-Street-style party central rife with drunken debauchery.
There is one specific common thread. Many elected officials and business owners agree they want to attract more locals to the area that is now mostly a haven for tourists.
Businesses want to allow a previous Ocean Drive plan to unfold, which includes more police on the street and a revitalized business association that works with the city to promote resident-centric activities in Lummus Park. Police and city officials believe tweaking enforcement of noise restrictions, lighting and the arrangement of sidewalk cafe tables will help crowd control. The city is expected to experiment with the flow of vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Ocean Drive, as it did last weekend.
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We want to hear from you. What do you think? Does Ocean Drive have problems?