Convert Ocean Drive Into A ‘Tabletop’?

Miami Beach officials continue to study ways to improve the clogged sidewalks of Ocean Drive.

Earlier, city officials had considered closing the street to traffic, or converting it to a one-way street. Those options have been moved to the back-burner, as it would be too inconvenient for businesses along the street. Owners of hotels believed that it would be too difficult for guests to check in and out, and other businesses also voiced concern.

At a meeting last month, architect Allan Shulman presented Miami Beach’s Historic Preservation Board a plan to turn Ocean Drive into a ‘tabletop,’ with the road level raised up to the level of the sidewalk. Motorists would drive up onto the ‘terrace’ that is Ocean Drive where cars and pedestrians shared the same level, signifying a slow-go zone. Separation between cars and pedestrians would still be added.

Another option would be to simply widen and reconfigure the sidewalk. Under both plans though, restaurant tables would be moved closer to the hotels to open up space for pedestrians.

Several possible patterns could also be added to the roadway (see renderings below).

Shulman’s presentation to the HPB was for discussion only. Any plan must be approved by both the board and the full city commission.

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6 years ago

I’m not crazy about narrowing the east sidewalk to 5 feet.

I like what they are trying to do though. Many streets in European cities have a similar setup.

It’d be great if they could narrow the automobile lanes even further. Maybe make it 1.5 lanes that are shared both directions.

6 years ago

Here’s a novel idea, LEAVE THE DAMN STREET ALONE!!! If the sidewalks are crowded, that means the area and business is doing good, it doesn’t need remedies or gimmicks to improve it.

6 years ago


Creating too much space may give the impression of the area dying down. Everyone wants to be in the “happening” area and happening areas are crowded. Those street patterns are hard on the eyes too.

6 years ago

Nothing “happening” about expensive, terrible food, unruly, “second-tier” people vomiting on the sidewalks and terrible sugary alcoholic beverages that enhance hangovers by x100….

I am in favor of giving Ocean Drive a “face lift.’ That place is in desperate need of an enhancement and I am in favor of something that will allow this famous block to be revitalized.

While this street leveling / graphic pavement may not scare away the vagrancy, at least it will give the impression that it has.

6 years ago

>> “second-tier” people

The truth comes out.

6 years ago

Wow, I love this!
Pattern option 2! So Miami.

Juan Carlos Contreras
6 years ago

Closing the street to cars and making it a beautiful pedestrian mall like Lincoln Road would be wonderful. Ocean Drive is iconic, it deserves a beautiful promenade.

6 years ago


If anything widen the sidewalk. The cheap and colored street distracts from the real gems on the beach…the art deco architecture.