MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Miami Beach is making some changes after last week’s deadly attack in Barcelona.
More than a dozen people died and more than 100 were injured when a car rammed into a crowd of pedestrians in the tourist area of Las Ramblas last Thursday.
“Literally, in the minutes and hours after the events in Barcelona, I received emails from residents, from businesses,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales. “I would say we probably we’ve heard from several of the businesses and owners on Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive wanting steps to be taken.”
This week, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine announced that due to the attack, they are re-evaluating areas where there is a large amount of pedestrian traffic in the South Florida city.
Morales said he’s directed the police department to look at the potential soft targets and come up with plans.
The city’s police chief, fire chief and public works director are evaluating what can be done to prevent casualties if there ever is a vehicle attack in the area.
While the evaluation continues, the city decided to put up temporary concrete barriers along the curb line of Alton Road and Washington Avenue entrances to the tourist and local favorite Lincoln Road Mall – an outdoor mall.
The barriers are temporary but the city is looking for more permanent security upgrades that can be part of the redesign of Lincoln Road.
“We will continue to expedite all the necessary measures to protect our residents and guests. It is important to understand that full security details will not be disclosed due to the sensitivity of this information,” wrote Levine in a letter to the public.
Visitors CBS4’s Oralia Ortega spoke with said the measures the city’s taking are necessary in this day and age.
“I think it’s great. I think all the cities should do this in all the main streets,” said Joana Silva, visiting from Portugal.
“I think it’s very, very good safety,” said Vincent Bourdeau, visiting from France.
As part of the initiative, Mayor Levine is asking for the state to help fund the enhanced security measures, not just for Miami Beach, but for the rest of the state.
On Monday, Levine sent a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott asking him to consider a number of initiatives including identifying high-traffic pedestrian areas that could be targeted, funding the purchase of bollards to prevent ramming attacks and further training for officers.