Better Streets Miami Beach

BREAKING: Miami-Dade County Orders Immediate Reopening of Ocean Drive Promenade to Vehicles


This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

The Ocean Drive pedestrian promenade, spanning two blocks from 13th Street to 14th Place, has been ordered to immediately reopen to vehicular traffic, according to an October 10th letter from Miami-Dade County.

The promenade was established by commission action in October 2021, following the decision to reintroduce vehicular traffic to Ocean Drive. The area had been pedestrian-only since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The promenade officially opened in late January 2022, with the remainder of Ocean Drive south of the promenade subsequently welcoming cars.

Before its reopening, Ocean Drive was reconfigured. On the eastern half of the street, on-street parking was replaced by a new two-way protected bicycle and shared-use micro-mobility path. The other half was designated for southbound car and truck traffic.

The reconfiguration south of the promenade has garnered positive feedback from many. While many in the community, including Better Streets, would prefer the area to remain car-free, they recognize that in the absence of a comprehensive plan and excellent execution by the city, the current configuration is a sensible interim measure.

The promenade has strong support from local residents, notably those living at Il Villaggio, 1500 Ocean, and smaller residential buildings in the vicinity. The newly-established Art Deco Neighborhood Association has also expressed its support.

Over the past few months, the city administration has awaited direction from the City Commission. Although the item was heard on June 28th, no action was taken, and it was ultimately deferred to July. The promenade then appeared on commission agendas for July 26th and September 13th, but was not heard by Mayor Gelber.

The October 10th letter stresses the urgency of the situation. This matter is once again on the agenda for the October 18th commission meeting.

In an email the following day, the County informed the city that, should it not act on the 18th, they reserve the right to pursue legal action to force the reopening.

During Monday’s Transportation, Parking, and Bicycle Pedestrian Facilities Committee meeting, it was revealed that the latest recommendation from city staff is to open the promenade to vehicular traffic from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday-Saturday. This is a shift from an earlier proposal with a 6 am to 11 am window.

In any potential reopening, regardless of the hours, the bicycle lane separators, colloquially termed “armadillos”, will need to be reinstalled to deter drivers from using the multi-use bicycle lane.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.