Are you sitting in gridlock? How to get around Miami and Miami Beach during Art Week

DAVID J. NEAL/dneal@miamiherald.com

There’s no traffic like Miami Art Week traffic because Miami Art Week traffic can be full stop. It’s the most wonderful time of the year — unless you actually want to get anywhere in Miami Beach or eastern Miami by car or SUV.

Interstate 95 stays clogged between morning rush hour and afternoon rush hour, even during the usual 10:30 to 2 p.m. safe space. The Pollo Tropical vs. Chipotle choice in some parts of Miami or Miami Beach comes down to “which is closest” because the fastest way to get to and from is on foot. One wrong turn and you’re in a stationary situation that might drain your gas tank.

So, here’s some information to help you get through the traffic near the art zones.

Street closings

Miami Beach says it’s halting construction that would close streets and sidewalks. As for other road shutdowns, the city promises to “proactively communicate with Waze, Google, and Inrix to accurately reflect all street closures on their respective mobile platforms in real-time.”

If you want to get traffic text message alerts from Miami Beach, text “MBAlert” to 888777.

Tip for those who don’t take the westbound MacArthur Causeway: If you’re not planning to exit at Biscayne Boulevard, get to the left lanes as you pass Jungle Island and the Miami Children’s Museum. Once you get past the Biscayne exit, look carefully at the road to see which spur leads to the highway you want to take. It’s not as intuitive as it was before 2021.

In Miami’s Wynwood area, expect Northwest Second Avenue to be shut down in both directions to cars from Northwest 20th to 29th streets.

As for road closures in other places, Miami police say:

The Gateway event, which runs through Dec. 9, will have Flagler Street closed from East Second to Third avenues.

Hurry Up Slowly runs through Sunday and will close Northwest First Court from 20th to 21st streets.

Art Miami runs until Dec. 5, closing Northeast 14th Street from Bayshore Drive to Herald Plaza, where the Miami Herald building stood from 1963 through 2015.

Hecho En Miami on Dec. 3 will close 25th Street from Miami Avenue to Northwest First Avenue.

The Hive Event, from Thursday through Dec. 5 will be in the westbound lanes of Northwest 22nd Lane starting at Second Avenue.

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Causeways to and from Miami Beach

Tuttle: On a normal weekday, the Julia Tuttle Causeway, Interstate 195, gets backed up eastbound around 4 p.m., quitting time for many people who work in Miami Beach, but don’t live there. Expect that to happen even earlier, even worse, and the westbound side to become just as congested as eastbound.

Don’t use the shoulder like you’re channeling Burt Reynolds in “Smokey and The Bandit” — Miami-Dade Transit buses will be using the shoulders from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. from Thursday through Monday.

79th/Broad causeways: If you’re heading to events in Little Haiti or Opa-locka from Miami Beach during afternoon rush hour, consider going across the 79th Street Causeway or the Broad Causeway (96th Street on the Bal Harbour/Surfside side, Northeast 123rd Street at the North Miami end).

MacArthur: Miami Beach also reminds people leaving the Beach via the MacArthur Causeway that road work at the Biscayne Boulevard exit might back up traffic on the westbound MacArthur.

Venetian: If you want to use the Venetian Causeway to or from South Beach, the east bridge will be locked down during the 4 to evening rush hour from Tuesday through Saturday.

Two tips for those using the Venetian to leave Miami Beach: There’s a toll and you’ll be heading into a maw of Art Week activity on the Miami end. Traffic might come to a standstill.

Other transportation options

Trolleys: Miami and Miami Beach each have city trolleys. Miami’s trolley routes run 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with no service on Sunday. Miami Beach trolleys will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m, but the city says it’s adding trolleys on all routes Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Rideshares: If you’re taking Uber or Lyft, Miami Beach says there’s a pickup spot near the Miami Beach Convention Center on 18th Street between Convention Center Drive and Meridian Court. In Wynwood, rideshare pickup locations are at Northwest Fifth Avenue and 29th Street, Northwest Third Avenue and 22nd Street, Northwest Second Avenue and 29th Street, and North Miami Avenue and 21st Street.

Ferry: You can also glide between Miami and Miami Beach on the water by taking the Poseidon Ferry.

Mass transit: For those of you who take the bus, Miami-Dade Transit Metrobus runs between Miami and Miami Beach. As mentioned above, they’ll run along the shoulders of the Julia Tuttle, allowing them to pass the clogged I-195 traffic.