Montgomery County Provides Updates on Four ‘Streeteries’ for Fall

Four “Streeteries” that were created in early 2020 by Montgomery County as a temporary concept to support businesses struggling from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and allow residents to gather freely on public streets closed to cars are now being reevaluated for fall as the pandemic continues to ease. The County’s Streeteries include Newell Street in Silver Spring, Price Avenue in Wheaton and Norfolk and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda.

The County has been working with communities around each location to establish a long-term plan for each space. The Streeteries will continue in some fashion, although some will change their concept. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has managed the closing of streets to vehicles as part of the Streeteries plans. The closed streets have allowed residents and businesses to use public spaces for in-street activities such as biking, walking, outdoor dining and retail activity. Management of the spaces and collection of community feedback has been led by the County’s respective Regional Service Centers (RSCs).

“The Streeteries have provided a practical solution to a pandemic-related problem,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “They served as much-needed gathering spaces during the pandemic and provided a creative solution. Now as the situation has changed, we worked with the community in each area to decide how these spaces will continue to operate.  The Streeteries showed new possibilities and I would like to see how we might continue some form of these activities as we move beyond just trying to accommodate the activities within the constraints of the pandemic.”

Streeteries generally, have had hospitality businesses involved and allow for alcohol consumption in public areas that were off limits previously. “The Streetery model proved an effective and popular option in some areas and licensed businesses successfully ensured responsible alcohol service,” said Alcohol Beverage Services Director Kathie Durbin. “Alcohol Beverage Services is committed to ongoing collaboration with license holders so that communities can continue to enjoy the Streeteries safely,”

Future plans for the four Streeteries for fall, as determined by input from their respective communities:

Newell Street, Silver Spring

Newell Street, managed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, will reopen to cars after Labor Day. However, it will remain an event-related operation, closing to vehicular traffic for public events throughout the year. Park and Planning issued a community survey this past spring and received mixed reviews regarding the desirability of use of the street as a public gathering space.

Price Avenue, Wheaton

Price Avenue will remain in operation as a Streetery for the foreseeable future.

The Mid-County RSC has indicated that it is looking to expand the Streetery to be more inclusive of bicyclists and walkers. A community meeting regarding the Streetery is planned for late September or early October to gather additional community feedback on ways to better accommodate pedestrian traffic.

This fall, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has planned repairs to its facilities that run under Price Avenue. The work may require WSSC to temporarily close the Streetery for a few days.

Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda

Norfolk Avenue will remain in operation as a Streetery, and closed to vehicles, for the foreseeable future.

Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda

The Woodmont Avenue Streetery will be temporarily suspended, and partially reopened to traffic after Labor Day during construction of the long-planned and partially constructed Woodmont Avenue Cycle Track.  Construction is expected to commence after Labor Day.

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase RSC is circulating a survey to gather feedback from residents and businesses. Survey results will be used in developing long-term plans for the Streetery. The owner of the adjacent properties (Federal Realty Investment Trust) is planning a privately funded redesign to increase outdoor dining capacity. Long-term design decisions have not been made, and the County will continue to work with the community to keep the area as a hub for outdoor dining while potentially restoring traffic movement through the block.

 

The Streeteries were part of MCDOT’s Shared Streets program, which included smaller pockets designated for recreation during the pandemic and allowed businesses to use streetside parking spaces and sidewalks.

Many of those businesses have already returned to normal operations. Businesses that are still operating with COVID-19-related accommodations, without the Streetery designation, will need to have County permits after Labor Day to ensure accessibility requirements are met. Streeteries have accessibility requirements built into their designs.

“During the pandemic, we relaxed the permitting requirement on the use of tents and café spaces on sidewalks in support of businesses,” said Department of Permitting Services Director Mitra Pedoeem. “Although we will work with businesses after Labor Day, they will need to reach out to the Permitting Services Office if they have not yet secured tent and outdoor café permits to ensure they comply with accessibility requirements.”

Over the winter months, Streetery locations may be suspended if significant winter storm conditions occur.

“Streeteries have undeniably changed how we look at the public right of way,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Working with the RSCs, Urban Partnerships and Parks—in the case of Newell Street—we have developed a process where the community determines the capacity of their local Streetery long-term. We are optimistic that these streets will continue to serve the public well.”

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Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

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FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

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KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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