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April 17th, 2013

Police preparing to ease Easter traffic

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A multijurisdictional police effort will attempt to tame traffic on the Rickenbacker Causeway and in Key Biscayne this Easter Weekend, and Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press says his department will serve as the eyes and ears for local residents’ concerns.
“Be prepared for another busy weekend and for strict enforcement on the causeway,” Press said. “Should the weather clear up, we are expecting record crowds on the Key.”
Press expects Miami Seaquarium’s Bunny Palooza event to be especially packed, with 8,000 to 9,000 guests per day for Friday, Saturday and Sunday activities. Brunches at the Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne and Rusty Pelican, plus area beaches, will also draw crowds.
Fortunately, Press said, several agencies are combining forces to try to ease the congestion.
He said officials at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park are onboard to close the park when it reaches capacity, and to notify the Rickenbacker Toll Plaza so motorists heading to the park can be made aware. Although that’s not a perfect solution, Press said, he’s hopeful enhanced Miami-Dade Police presence will keep people from queuing up at a closed Bill Baggs.
“The County has assured us they’ll be out in full force,” Press said, including off-duty cops at Seaquarium.
Meanwhile, City of Miami Police will be addressing a parking issue that has popped up around Hobie Beach the past few weekends: cars parking on the swale, blocking the bike lane and forcing cyclists to veer into vehicle traffic lanes. He said Miami Police, with help from Miami-Dade, plan early enforcement to get control of the situation before it becomes a problem.
The City Police will also be in charge of monitoring I-95, Brickell, US-1 and roads coming onto the toll plaza. Press said it’s up to Miami officials to ask the toll plaza to waive tolls temporarily to ease severe congestion.
As for Key Biscayne Police, they’ll be making sure that happens with an eye to protecting the interests of local residents. “We’ll have enhanced staff to man the causeway, state park and other areas,” Press said. “If we have to be the eyes and ears of those entities, we will.”

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About the Author

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Kelly Josephsen

Kelly Josephsen graduated with a degree in Mass Communication from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. While there, she served as editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Vidette.

After working for three years as a business and higher education reporter at The Pantagraph in Bloomington, Illinois, Kelly relocated to South Florida in 2003. She currently covers local government for The Islander News.

During her tenure with The Islander News, she has received several editorial awards from the Florida Press Association and the National Newspaper Association for her writing.
Kelly enjoys running, reading and spending time with friends and family. She is married to Brandon, an attorney, and they both have a son, Anthony.





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