Almost three weeks ago, college students, dropouts and alums flooded Miami Beach for the annual spring break festivities in South Beach. Although every weekend was filled with wild parties and even crazier stories, the aftermath of the most recent weekend has forced city officials to make a change. Long story short, Spring Break, as you know it, is canceled.
Brawls on the beach, a woman knocked unconscious, drivers serving alcohol on the MacArthur Causeway, and not to mention, another woman getting run over by a car after flying out of her own vehicle, were just some of the outrageous incidents that sparked an emergency meeting on Tuesday.
In fact, Monday night, after videos surfaced of the shenanigans, Mayor Dan Gelber sent an email to all Miami Beach residents to address complaints.
“What I saw this weekend was unacceptable,” he said. “We have to do a better job at addressing these high impact weekends when hundreds of thousands flock to our entertainment district in South Beach. I received so many calls and emails: from residents stuck on a Causeway trying to just get home; from people walking around Ocean Drive feeling unsafe; and from others who, like me, can’t stand the image this projects about the City we love.”
“The bottom line is we have become so attractive as a destination that we simply can’t process the volume of people that want to come here. And unfortunately, among the thousands that visit with intent of suitably enjoying themselves are some who come with bad intentions, drink or smoke too much, or just are not capable of comporting themselves in a civilized way,” he said, as he offered the opportunity to discuss resolutions in Tuesday’s meeting.
On Tuesday, residents shared their concerns and condemned city officials for their lack of enforcement. “There’s motorcycles, there’s half-naked and fully naked women running around the streets. The enforcement was not there,” Nancy Liebman said of Ocean Drive last week. “The problem is somebody’s gotta get tough.”
Lucky for Nancy though, the Miami Beach Police department plans to restore order.
Starting this weekend, 25 officers, in protective gear, will patrol South Beach to take away drugs and drinks. Meanwhile, Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman said it just needs to be a lot less fun to get rid of the Spring Break phenomenon altogether.
“I think we need to eliminate this spring break phenomenon as soon as possible,” Aleman said. “I think we need to make it a lot less fun to be here, unfortunately.”
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