MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials have ramped up enforcement on Miami Beach to keep residents and visitors safe as well as keep traffic flowing in preparation for Memorial Day weekend.
Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. the following morning, officials have created a loop to guide commuters in the district. The loop will be in effect every night until Sunday.
Police said crowd and traffic control are the top priorities over the next four days.
“We’ll be implementing a traffic loop each evening beginning at 7 p.m. Our officers will be enforcing DUIs. Don’t drink and drive,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez in a promotional video.
Residents can enter their neighborhoods with photo identification or proof of residency.
7News cameras captured residents and visitors strolling down Ocean Drive, Friday afternoon.
“We’re just here, family, enjoying each other,” said a woman who is visiting from Arkansas.
The group of women smiled and waved for the cameras.
“We love Miami so much,” they said.
City officials are also discouraging unruly behavior during the holiday weekend.
“Don’t let poor choices ruin your vacation,” said Rodriguez.
Police said they will crack down on loud music blasted in the streets, open containers and anyone seen taking drugs.
7News cameras captured barricades stacked together along Washington Avenue, Friday afternoon.
The high-impact weekend comes after months of scuffles, shootings, stabbings, reckless driving and other bad behavior within the city’s entertainment district, most of it captured on cellphone or surveillance video.
“We, the residents of South Beach, are very scared,” said resident Brian Antoni.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the message is clear: those who step out of line risk being taken into custody.
“Don’t come here if you’re looking to do something that’s stupid or illegal,” he said. “We’re arresting almost everyone who commits these offenses.”
On Saturday and Sunday, a popular event will take flight above South Beach. The Hyundai Air and Sea Show will return to pay tribute to the men and women who risk their lives for the safety of all Americans.
Masks will be mandatory unless sitting on the beach or in areas designated for eating.
The sea event starts at 11 a.m., and the air events start at noon.
Most of the people who spoke to 7News on Friday were from out of town, like two men visiting from Ohio.
“Just vacationing,” said one of them.
“So far, so good,” said the other.
Officials said there will be a stepped up police presence this weekend, including officers from other municipalities across South Florida.
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