Montgomery County’s Shared Streets program, known colloquially as “streeteries,” will continue through Sept. 5, the county’s Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday.
Streeteries are closed streets that have been converted into outdoor dining areas since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago. The county started the program to help struggling businesses that otherwise would be limited in their ability to serve customers, with dining rooms shuttered at the start of the pandemic.
There are streeteries in Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton. Additionally, other jurisdictions such as Rockville and Takoma Park have maintained their own streetery setups.
The county has extended its streetery program multiple times due to its popularity with businesses and residents, according to a press release. Transportation Director Chris Conklin said in the press release that the streeteries have “contributed to people’s health and well-being by supporting walking, biking and spending time outdoors.”
“These spaces have positively impacted the vibrancy of their communities,” he said in the press release.
This month, the county has been adding anywhere between 25 and 86 cases of COVID-19 per day, down from the thousands of cases that were being recorded each day in January.
County Executive Marc Elrich thinks streeteries have helped reduce the transmission of the virus.
“Streeteries have provided a safe gathering place for residents throughout a challenging time,” he said in the press release. “These are family-friendly spaces that encourage community gathering and create enticing destinations throughout the county.”
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