MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Art Basel, one of the premiere art events in the country, kicks off this week on Miami Beach.
Tens of thousands of art lovers and the merely curious visit the event, staged at the city’s convention center, along with surrounding satellite displays each year.
To ease what could potentially be a traffic nightmare, the City of Miami Beach has worked with several departments and agencies to develop a traffic plan.
First of all, the cities of Miami and Miami Beach and the Miami Downtown Development Authority have partnered to provide direct trolley service between Midtown Miami and the Miami Beach Convention Center during Art Basel. The trolley service will operate free of charge from Wednesday, December 4 through Sunday, December 8 between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sunday).
Two trolleys will provide a direct shuttle service via either the Julia Tuttle Causeway or the Venetian Causeway depending on traffic conditions at the time. The designated trolley stops will be located at Midtown Boulevard/29th Street in Miami and at Washington Avenue in front of the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason in Miami Beach. Each trolley will leave its destination every hour on the hour.
Also, the Art Basel Miami Beach – Miami trolleys will connect to the Art Basel Miami Week Loop providing service to art fairs located in Midtown Miami, Wynwood, and Downtown Miami.
To keep an eye on traffic, the city has added extra traffic cameras at a number of intersections which will the police to view real-time traffic conditions and deploy officers to manage traffic at congested areas. Additionally, the timing of traffic signals at critical intersections can be adjusted to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion in the areas most affected by Art Basel traffic.
Due to road construction and the number of lane closures on Miami Beach, the city has set up designated routes for those who want to drive to the show.
For traffic accessing Art Basel from the mainland and north of I-195, the designated route will be Julia Tuttle Causeway, Arthur Godfrey Road/41st Street, Pine Tree Drive, Dade Boulevard, and Washington Avenue. The Miami/Miami Beach Art Basel Trolley service will operate along this same route.
For traffic accessing Art Basel from the mainland and south of I-395, the designated route will be MacArthur Causeway, 5th Street Flyover to Alton Road, and 17th Street.
The Miami Beach Police Department will be deploying police officers to key intersections to help keep traffic flowing and avoid vehicles from blocking the box. Officers have been instructed to take charge of the intersection and direct traffic on an as-needed basis.