Montgomery County’s ‘Shared Streets’/Streeteries Initiative Will be Extended at Least Through March

by MCS Staff
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Montgomery County’s “Shared Streets” program, which was started during the COVID-19 health crisis, will be extended at least through March. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) manages the Shared Streets program, which allows residents and businesses to use public spaces for in-street activities such as biking, walking, outdoor dining and retail activity.

Shared Streets aims to bring residents together in a safe outdoor environment while supporting County businesses that have struggled from the economic impacts of COVID-19.

“It is evident that despite progress we have made in combatting the pandemic with our highest vaccination rate and lowest case rates, many of our residents feel more comfortable gathering outside and Shared Streets has been a popular program to serve that demand,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Shared Streets has brought friends, neighbors and communities together, keeping them safe from transmitting the virus. as well as from vehicular traffic. This program has also been economically beneficial to our business community and I am glad it is continuing. It is important for us to collect additional feedback to ensure these areas are serving residents the best way they can.”

Shared Streets programs are currently operating in Downtown Bethesda, Wheaton and Silver Spring. County Regional Service Centers collected community feedback on the use of the public right of ways and the benefits to communities including business. Support for the spaces has been overwhelmingly positive.

Shared Streets locations may be suspended under significant winter storm conditions, should they occur.

“This creative solution has undoubtedly changed the way we see the public right of way and has provided a safe haven for gathering, making it feel safer and more comfortable,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. ‘We are happy to maintain these spaces as long as they continue to be utilized and benefit the communities they serve.”

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