This is a “viewpoint map.”
It distills viewpoints around an issue into a digestible format to enable calm consideration
…. without people arguing with you :-).
In this case, below are reasons for supporting either:
- (a) Re-opening Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive to vehicle traffic, or
- (b) Keeping it closed.
Our reporting of these viewpoints and comments does not imply our support for any of them.
|BELIEFS WHY OCEAN DR SHOULD REOPEN
|BELIEFS WHY OCEAN DR SHOULD REMAIN CLOSED
|SUMMARY OF ALL RATIONALES
|Ordered roughly by degree of support for each.
(Click on a rationale for more detail.)
|DETAILS ON ALL RATIONALES
|Attributed comments are Miami residents (with permission) unless otherwise indicated. Unattributed are not word-for-word quotations, but paraphrases of sentiment expressed on Miami Beach-focused online community groups.
|Empty streets attract misbehaving crowds and siphon them from spending money in businesses.
|Improves the experience of visiting the area
|“One of our most attractive/ beautiful area[s], has become a fairground for selling drugs and prostitution!” — Gina Gonzalez
“Crime is also up for residents on Collins.” — r/miami Redditor u/dollardumb
“[allowing cars will mean] less room for crime, drugs and sex trade!”
“The street party and failure to enforce laws is the main issue, so end it. Gotta let the vehicles back.”
“[Reopening to vehicles] would meaningfully shrink the space for gathering and facilitate crowd control and dispersal at curfew.”
“We need to encourage folks to spend dollars _inside_ the businesses, not just loiter outside.”
“The closure to vehicles is a complete mess!”
“Gotta end the block party.”
|“Ocean drive is 100% better without cars.” — Marc Stolowitz
“Ocean Drive is a beautiful gem of a street with global recognition. If we have a more relaxing crowd, it would be perfect as a pedestrian street.” — Monica Matteo-Salinas
“The zone is a historical part of South Beach should be kept away from excessive traffic to let citizens of Miami Beach and tourists enjoy such a nice ArtDeco area” — Juan M Fernandez
“….Embracing our health by going for a walk or bike is the new way to experience a beautiful area. Studies show that pedestrian areas are higher in value to a city as more people use and love the space.” — Daniel Doughty
“All those stupid cars that would lap the 17 blocks over and over. This is way better.” — Erika Galan
“With the vehicles absent, there is a renewed sophistication to our area, it feels more natural and healthy now. I’m willing to pay more, like in higher tips, if I can relax in my neighborhood, with calm.”
|Currently difficult for guests to reach hotels
|Reduces noise and pollution
|“Hotel guests are not longer permitted to arrive with their luggage.” — Gina Gonzalez
“If you let vehicles back on Ocean, patrons’ vehicles and taxis can easily reach all those hotels again.”
|“I really don’t like those car fumes or the obnoxious over-testosteroners gunning their motors.”
“Reopen this to cars and we’ll just be back to the gross car throngs with the booming music and the show-off rides!”
“You know, it really wasn’t preferable back with the stopped-dead traffic and the jillion cars blasting the inconsiderately booming music.”
“For a change we can recline in Lummus Park and enjoy the weather instead of having to hear idiots cruise in their slingshots cranking noise and twerking on the cars.”
|Especially difficult for handicapped/elderly to reach businesses
|Safer for pedestrians
|“Many of us, full-time owner/residents, taxpayers are older and/or disabled. We do not have the choice of walking long distances or using bicycles….” — Zelde Malevitz
|“Ocean was always clogged and undrivable anyway. This gives pedestrians more options and makes it safer.” — Resident, Greater Miami
“It’s safer now for just walking or cycling.”
“Man is it a pleasure to enjoy cycling or just strolling around and not being constantly stressed over cars side-swiping you.“
|Closure worsens traffic congestion in the entire area.
|Increases walk-by/drop-in business for restaurants and retail
|“… please open it back up for me. We live on Collins & with Ocean closed & Washington no longer the bus route, Collins is more of a mess!” — Brooke Townsend
“It has created an unwanted traffic to residential areas which has make our lives miserable!” — Gina Gonzalez
“Collins Ave is overflowing with traffic from Ocean and the changes to Washington Ave; it’s a parking lot. This is causing major issues for locals that live in the area.” — r/miami Redditor u/dollardumb
“Our own police observed that the lost traffic lane on Ocean had beforehand eased traffic on nearby Collins and even drew away loiterers from there because some of them would go to Ocean.”
|“One would expect that more _walk-by_ activity on the street would boost business activity?”
“It should be a boon to local retail and businesses. The atmosphere matters. If more pedestrians are drawn to the new experience, that will feed on itself. More visitors are going to want to experience the improved vibe.“
|Worsens parking for patrons, deliveries and maintenance/repair workers
|Local residents prefer it closed
|“I worry that residents and retail in the area will be harmed by the lack of parking.”
“Especially for deliveries and service personnel parking was already an issue. Commercial trucks like food suppliers, couriers, power, cable, utilities, etc, don’t have many options.”
|“Please listen to the residents! The bar and restaurant workers don’t live here and should not dictate our neighborhood.” — Elaina Silanee
“I have loved having it closed. It’s been great…. Born and raised 305.” — Erika Galan
“I live right on Ocean Dr, just south of 5th. I am so happy with the car prohibition in that area.”
“It’s like the local Miami Beachers are coming back into that zone!”
|Closure has complicated getting around the area.
|Closure hasn’t increased crowds, just concentrated them.
|“The prohibition on cars has been a disruption for residents trying to simply get around the area.”
“It is going to be so much easier to get around once Ocean reopens to cars. I run tours in the area for a living, believe me.”
|“[If vehicles return] the block party is just going to shift somewhere else again; the crowds aren’t new; they are just relocated.”
“It’s better to have the crazies concentrated [around Ocean Dr] than misbehaving all over the nearby neigborhoods.”
|Spillover increases problems in nearby neighborhoods
|The closure has not worsened crowd behavior
|“Man, it is a mess for all the people who actually live in the area with intoxicated people now stumbling past our homes to find their cars.”
“I don’t think it was foreseen, but the living environment has become dangerous along Washington and Collins as a result of the vehicle shutdown on Ocean.”
“All the cruising activity just relocated from Ocean to the next streets over.”
|“Look, this block party activity existed on Ocean and was going to continue to do so regardless of the closure to cars. Like, if it reopened right now, these issues that are upsetting people would continue in exactly the same volume and just as frequent.”
“We have to change the atmosphere, not open up Ocean Drive to cars.” — Monica Matteo-Salinas
|Closure hurts business by reducing parking and drive-by traffic
|Cars are unnecessary in that area
| “I can no longer go to Ocean Dr due to prohibition of vehicles, even though my car has handicapped plates. We used to go frequently to Cultural events at the Betsy and eat at several restaurants on a regular basis.” — Zelde Malevitz
“People who otherwise would spend money are avoiding Ocean now because there is no way to park or valet their cars.””Businesses have already closed as a result of this.”
|“There is not a reasonable rational for cars on Ocean.”
“So of course the crazies have always been in that area and will continue to be regardless of whether open/closed to vehicles, but the point is, the _cars_ were never necessary.“
“I can’t see the argument for cars needing to be on that street.”
|Compromise: It can be reopened with improvements to address concerns.
|Compromise: Keep it closed, but we do need a better plan.
|“I do think it would be better off as a street open to relaxed traffic (speed bumps? Planted nooks sticking out to relax traffic as done in other countries on “slow streets”?)… not as a permanent pedestrian zone …. I don’t want to give the go ahead for noisy and reckless joyriding, I would just support opening it up to slow respectful traffic.” — Susanna P.
|“I do understand it makes some difficulties for the hotels located on Ocean Drive so I believe there has to be some allowances or adaptions to make that aspect more user friendly.” — Lori McElroy Donohue Colanduoni (visitor)
“… a reasonable compromise would be to make Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th street one way for vehicles to allow limited service and provide the additional restaurant and pedestrian space.” — Jimmy Bost
“The harm to local business must be addressed immediately. We need a thorough, carefully considered and workable plan.”
“Figure out the convenient hotel-access issues to avoid impacting those businesses, but protect Ocean as an ongoing open area without all the masses of cruisers, the obnoxious engine noise, and blaring music that we’ve been cursed with for so long.”
|There is already sufficient pedestrian space in Lummus Park
|“It’s not the open space on Ocean that causes any unique problems. Before all of this, Lummus Park existed right there with even broader open space and it worked, the walking and cycling and exercising coexisted right among the same drinking, drugs and loud music that suddenly everyone is so anxious about a mere few feet to the west on Ocean.”
|Closure needlessly penalizes drivers.
|“Please stop needlessly targeting and blaming the driving public.”
|The closing is part of a corrupt political conspiracy.
|“The revised zoning and this new development is not in most of our interests. Should be obvious from recent past the negative impact that has on local small business. And they would hurt the residents for profit as well. Look around at all the dining places that have closed. They are chasing them all out, along with residents, so they can replace them with their own profit-making.“
“The businesses exploiting Ocean Dr are the only ones profiting from this closure.”
|Ocean Dr. is meant to be a “drive”
|“People love to cruise here. It’s all about the car & being seen. Ocean is the best place for that. It’s famous for it. 😁.” — Brooke Townsend
“Tourist busses are not longer aloud to pass by to show such an icon area of our city.” — Gina Gonzalez
“Ocean _drive_ means … ‘drive.’ Hello? People worldwide come to South Beach and expect to drive that strip as a core part of the experience.”
“Ocean Dr. is just not its iconic self without cars.”
|Closure diverts police resources into narrow zones
|“The security ( police force) that the government has to invest [is] standing on each corner, instead of patrolling all areas!” — Gina Gonzalez
Results (as of 9 August, 2021)
Note the purpose of this survey is to (a) identify the broad range of rationales people hold for their positions and (b) roughly assess which rationales are most commonly shared. This is not a scientific survey; it is directional, but not conclusive.
Its utility is in learning many of the reasons people have for their preferences and which seem to be most popular.
This is an initiative of Project LISTEN, within e.pluribus.us. Learn more about Project LISTEN.