Miami Beach

Miami Beach installs concrete barriers on Lincoln Road to ward off car attacks

Concrete safety barriers were installed on Lincoln Road and Alton Road in Miami Beach as of Friday, Aug. 25, 2017
Concrete safety barriers were installed on Lincoln Road and Alton Road in Miami Beach as of Friday, Aug. 25, 2017

Miami Beach installed concrete barriers at both ends of the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall Thursday night.

The barriers — technically named bollards — were installed just days after Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine announced to residents in an email that concrete barriers would go up along Washington Avenue and Alton Road, the east and west endpoints of the mall. The concrete barriers will eventually be replaced with something permanent and aesthetically pleasing, according to Levine.

The pedestrian-heavy Lincoln Road was seen as vulnerable to vehicular attacks that have been seen across Europe, most recently in Barcelona, and in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Increasing urgency, Levine wrote in a letter to Gov. Rick Scott: “The state could partially or fully fund the purchase and placement of bollards at key access points in these areas to prevent entry by vehicles.”

“In conjunction with the federal government, the state could help fund the development of security and assistance expertise for local police forces, so that they may be prepared in the event of an attack,” he wrote.

Multiple vehicular attacks in Europe prompted Levine’s proposal. The vehicular attack in Barcelona earlier this month killed 13 and injured more than 100 people. There have also been car or truck attacks in France, Germany, Sweden, and Britain.

Before Levine raised the issue, commissioner Michael Grieco recommended barriers for Lincoln Road and Española Way at a commission meeting months ago.

The barriers are one aspect of an overall makeover for Lincoln Road.

Beautification designs include added green space near Washington Avenue, a reimagined Euclid Oval, and a new logo for the road. More complex details such as sidewalk cafe table arrangement and walkway construction prompted worries back in February. Business owners were worried the estimated $43 million project would hurt their sales during the construction phase.

Miami Herald reporters David J. Neal and Joey Flechas contributed to this report.