Major changes could be coming to famed Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

Some big changes may be coming to Hollywood Beach’s famed Broadwalk.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Some big changes may be coming to Hollywood Beach’s famed Broadwalk, but there won’t be as many of them as Hollywood Police had originally hoped.

On Wednesday, the Hollywood City Commission discussed proposed alterations to their current ordinance about what is and isn’t allowed at the beach and on the Broadwalk. The new wording would have banned roller-skating, rollerblading and all bicycles with more than two wheels on the Broadwalk, as well as prohibited tents or canopies on the sand, and imposed an 11 p.m. - 5 a.m. closure of the sand itself.

Hollywood Police recommended the changes, saying the current ordinance worked well in the past, but that there are a lot more people visiting Hollywood now than there were when it was originally written.

“It gets quite busy out there and really reduces our effectiveness to respond to certain situations,” said Hollywood Police Assistant Chief Jeff Devlin.

In fact, in 2020 4,622,992 people visited Hollywood Beach, and in 2021 that number was 6,226,257. Police say with so many people in the area, there are more accidents between bikers or rollerbladers and pedestrians, as well as a significant increase in large tents that block access and visibility for officers.

But the proposed changes drew a lot of criticism from Hollywood residents and frequent beachgoers, especially since the ban on bicycles with more than three wheels would get rid of popular tricycles, Hollywood’s iconic surreys, and the less-appreciated banana bikes.

Those at the meeting speaking out against the changes said the problem isn’t too many trikes or rollerbladers, but the few people who go too fast, and ride recklessly.

“The issue is people speeding, so we need enforcement of the ordinances we already have, not more rules,” said Bettina August, who rides her tricycle on the Broadwalk.

At their meeting Wednesday, city commissioners heard from the community and discussed each item among themselves, trying to balance safety, with being overly strict.

“Police are finding friction points and saying, ‘Hey this is a friction point, we might want to be able to eliminate it,’” said Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy. “[But] we don’t necessarily want to be the fun police either.”

After hours of discussion, here’s where the commission landed on in terms of changes:

· They intend to ban enclosed tents on the sand and will require canopies with open sides be kept 20 feet apart and a significant distance from the sand dunes.

· The sand will be closed from midnight to 5 a.m., giving police a tool to remove people from the beach they believe may be up to no good overnight.

· Rollerblading and roller-skating, as well as tricycles and the four-wheeled surreys, will continue to be allowed.

· Banana bikes will be banned.

Initially, Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to be the first reading of this updated ordinance, but so many changes were made that a new first reading will take place on March 2.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.