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"Some Miami Beach police officers...decided to substitute the word 'Canadian' for 'black' in radio transmissions, as in, 'There's a large group of Canadians gathered on Washington and 14th.' " -Tristram Korten, Miami New Times, June 7, 2001
"What will happen, I don’t know. Hopefully everything will be fine." -Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower in 2012
It's time for another installment of Urban Beach Weekend.
What does the weekend hold in store for Miami Beach residents and visitors?
It's simple: A replay of last year and the year before:
Street closures, strict enforcement of open container laws, zero-tolerance for illegal parking, a Friday night DUI checkpoint on the MacArthur Causeway, and a possible closure of the MacArthur if traffic becomes unmanageable, "enhanced enforcement of obstruction of traffic" and a "traffic/cruising loop" that's was cleverly devised a few years ago to "route [non-resident] traffic through and out of the city."
Miami Beach police spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez tells Miami New Times a little more about the traffic loop that anyone driving to South Beach via the MacArthur Causeway will encounter: "You're going to stay on this carousel the entire time all the way until you leave Miami Beach again."
Of course that all depends on whether or not you actually get to Miami Beach.
The DUI checkpoint on the MacArthur begins at 8 p.m. Friday evening for eastbound traffic heading into Miami Beach. In addition, causeway traffic will be narrowed to one lane before drivers even get to the checkpoint, which this year will be set up just before the Fisher Island/Coast Guard base entrance.
And according to New Times, just like last year, "Automated license plate readers will be used on the MacArthur, Venetian, and Julia Tuttle causeways to search for wanted persons or stolen vehicles attempting to enter Miami Beach."
I asked Miami Beach police spokesperson Bobby Hernandez what alternatives there are for drivers who want to avoid the MacArthur and all the problems associated with it.
"Take the Julia Tuttle,"said Hernandez.
You've been warned.