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.