State Watch

Miami Beach reopens Ocean Drive to cars after pandemic-sparked closure

Miami Beach, Fla., reopened Ocean Drive to vehicles on Monday, marking the first time drivers have been allowed on the strip in almost two years.

The street is now open to one-way traffic between 13th Street and 5th Street and a two-way bike lane has been added to the east side and west side, which can be used for loading and valet service, according to a local news station.

Last month, city officials announced that the street would open to vehicles again on Monday. It was previously closed off and used by nearby restaurants to provide outdoor seating to comply with social distancing at the onset of the pandemic, WSVN noted.

Pedestrians reportedly welcomed the closure at the time, while businesses and hotels in the area argued that the road closure made it difficult for guests to get to them, the news outlet reported.

“Really if you stay here, to bring your luggage around the corner is inconvenient, so I’m glad they opened it up, and for safety reasons also,” Richard Kemp, who was visiting South Beach, told Local 10 News.

The city is reportedly still considering making Ocean Drive completely pedestrian or limiting traffic on the road.

Tags Coronavirus Miami

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