Press Release

The New Ocean Drive is Thriving

June 23, 2020

The New Ocean Drive is Thriving –

A street that’s great for businesses, residents & visitors.

Let’s make the magic permanent.

The New Ocean Drive is a Rare and Outstanding Success in Miami

No street countywide has seen a new normal recovery like Ocean Drive, accompanied by the widespread embrace of a new community space by city residents and visitors.

Safer, socially distanced outdoor dining combined with a calmer, family-friendly street that’s closed to vehicles has been the recipe for success.

Transit Alliance staff and volunteers have spoken with dozens of Ocean Drive businesses. Businesses are recovering well, with some doing better than before the pandemic crisis.

The New Ocean Drive Supports the City’s Long-Term Goals

Miami Beach’s Rising Above strategic plan adopted in 2019 envisions a prosperous, safe, resilient city that puts people first – with goals of becoming less car centric and improving Miami Beach’s walking and cycling experience.

There’s more – the city’s Transportation Master Plan lists Ocean Drive as a Critical Pedestrian Zone, with the highest pedestrian volume in all of Miami Beach. The plan sets clear goals to enable city residents and visitors to walk through safe and engaging infrastructure.

The New Ocean Drive Doesn’t Need Cars to Succeed – Just People

COVID-19 is far less transmissible outdoors compared to indoor spaces. The success of our businesses and the health of our community go hand in hand with repurposing our streets for people and businesses.

Pedestrians – not car drivers – are key to economic vitality efforts. Streets oriented towards people are more economically productive and pedestrians may spend as much as 65% more on businesses than car drivers.

We Need More Magical Streets

It’s clear that Miami Beach’s ambitious plan to create more pedestrian-oriented streets is the right way forward – for safer social distancing, community health, and business recovery.

Here’s the full list of streets:

  • Washington Avenue
  • Bay Road (from 18 to 20 Street)
  • 20 Street (from Bay Road to Purdy Ave)
  • Purdy Avenue (from 18 to 20 Street)
  • 73 Street (from Collins Avenue to Ocean Terrace)
  • Ocean Terrace (from 73 to 74 Street)
  • 74 Street (from Collins Avenue to Ocean Terrace)
  • Lincoln Road (from West Avenue to Alton Road)

Long-Term Trends and Existing Case Studies Support It

The coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape what normal life looks like. Cycling is booming, with bike sales seeing their biggest spike in the US in over half a century. As people continue to reclaim their streets to walk and exercise at a safe distance, Miami Beach should keep sight of its goals and work towards a more sustainable city that puts people first.

Biking and walking provide an estimated return on investment of $11.80 for every $1 spent. In London, Trafalgar Square saw a 300% increase in visitors after pedestrianizing. In New York, Times Square has become the most visited place globally after going car-free, with over 380,000 pedestrians each day and pedestrianized zones seeing a 49% drop in commercial vacancies.