Traffic is a mess! 

Some of it is exacerbated by temporary roadway construction projects and emergency utility work which requires lane closures. But some of the congestion, like the back-ups around the 41st Street corridor, is recurring because of ongoing synchronization issues, which is under the County’s purview. 

Given the holidays and the expected influx of visitors as we host a multitude of special events citywide, I thought an update on current conditions would be worthwhile, and what our city is doing to alleviate these conditions.

FPL Project on Collins Avenue from 56th – 63rd Streets

Over the past few months, FPL has been working to upgrade damaged facilities surrounding the 57th Street substation following a fire and extended power outage last year. 

This critical project required a two-lane closure of Collins Avenue which brought the roadway down to only one lane. Staff initially approved this work to occur overnight from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. to mitigate the traffic impacts. Following a series of complaints and pleas from the neighboring residents in the area and to expedite the completion of this work, it was necessary for the lane closures to occur during the daytime hours.  

While it was painful at first, we are happy to report that FPL completed this phase of the work and opened all travel lanes late last week. This will provide immediate relief to the Collins Avenue corridor in Mid-Beach ahead of Art Week.

Alton Road and 63rd Street 

Due to the FPL work on Collins Avenue, there has been an uptick in traffic volumes along Alton Road and 63rd Street corridors as motorists shifted to other areas in our city. 

In addition to increased traffic in the area and the draw bridge delays, the traffic signals had a major malfunction at the intersections of 63rd Street/Indian Creek Drive and 63rd Street/Collins Avenue. The signal did not allow sufficient green time to east-west traffic, which crippled these intersections. 

While Miami-Dade County has jurisdiction over traffic signal operations, our Transportation team immediately notified Miami Beach Police and the County of the malfunctions. The traffic signals were repaired and reprogrammed correctly within 24 hours. So that issue should no longer be a problem.

41st Street Corridor

The 41st Street corridor is experiencing higher demand as well as traffic signalization issues. This is a state road (under county management) so we are limited in what we can do. But we recently took action that you should know about. 

Currently, the lights on 41st Street have been operating under what is known as “automatic pedestrian phasing” that was implemented in early 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of reducing the risk of contracting the virus through surface contact. While serving as a pedestrian convenience feature, a major disadvantage of automatic pedestrian phases is that it forces the main movement (41st Street in this case) to stop regardless of whether a pedestrian is present to cross the street. 

The cumulative impact of stopping 41st Street traffic for over 30 seconds each cycle was intensifying gridlock along the already stressed corridor. During last Wednesday’s City Commission meeting, the commission adopted a resolution urging Miami-Dade County to synchronize all the traffic signals along 41st Street between Alton Road and Collins Avenue in advance of Art Week, including the removal of the automatic pedestrian phases which trigger the walk phase without the need for pedestrians to push the button. The Commission Resolution exempts the Sabbath and Jewish holidays during which days and times the automatic pedestrian phases will remain active along the corridor.  

Traffic Monitoring and Management during upcoming high impact period

The City Commission also approved the engagement of traffic monitoring and management services for the high impact period. These services will assist the city staff in identifying, communicating and mitigating incidents and lane closures causing congestion on our major thoroughfares. 

Construction Moratorium and Enforcement 

The city continues to aggressively enforce any contractor working in the right-of-way and/or closing travel lanes on major thoroughfares without proper authorization.

A construction moratorium has been established during the holiday and high impact periods which will limit lane closures.

Art Week Bridge Schedule (November 29 - December 3, 2022)

We don’t control our drawbridges. Due to the increase of traffic expected during Art Week Miami Beach, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the United States Coast Guard have authorized the city to temporarily deviate from regular drawbridge operations on the eastern portion of the Venetian Causeway. 

During this time, the East Venetian Causeway Bridge will remain closed between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily, from November 29 - December 3, 2022.

Public vessels of the United States and vessels in distress will be allowed to pass at any time. 

Venetian Causeway – Emergency Water & Sewer Main Replacement

The city receives its drinking water from the mainland via four transmission mains. Water enters San Marco Island via parallel water mains that are in extremely poor condition, and the city is replacing both the water and sewer mains on the Venetian Causeway between Belle Isle and Rivo Alto.

This project will replace a segment of the water mains in four phases.


Starting on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, eastbound lanes, and one westbound turning lane on Venetian Way between E & W Rivo Alto. The eastbound lanes adjacent to Belle Isle Park will be closed, as well as one eastbound turning lane. Sections of the bike lane and sidewalks may be closed and incorporated into the travel lane.

Our staff will closely monitor traffic impacts to modify the temporary traffic pattern as needed. Click here to view the project update.  

Sign up for Traffic Alerts

City staff sends real time traffic text daily, residents can text MBAlert to 888-777 to enroll for real-time traffic text message alerts.


Sorry for these inconveniences. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Dan Gelber

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram