2021 | Government

Montgomery County extending ‘streeteries’ program through Nov. 28

Initiative was started to help businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

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The Bethesda Streetery

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Montgomery County is extending its Shared Streets program, known colloquially as “streeteries,” until Nov. 28, the county announced on Tuesday.

The program refers to select roads and parkways that are closed to vehicular traffic to create space for additional outdoor dining.

The county created the program last year when COVID-19 restrictions forced restaurants to limit indoor capacity at various points, and shut down entirely for some stretches. Throughout the pandemic, restaurants have been able to continue serving outdoors, and the “streeteries” have become a solution for helping struggling businesses.

They also are aimed at increasing space for activities such as biking and walking.

The program is managed by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. It includes:

  • The Streetery on Gibbs in Rockville
  • The Takoma Park Streetery on Laurel Avenue
  • The Germantown Streetery at BlackRock

Additionally, the county has converted a number of streets into temporary Neighborhood Greenways. These streets allow only local vehicle traffic, but welcome pedestrians and bicyclists.

The temporary greenways will remain in place until November, and will then be reopened to through traffic, according to a press release.

Montgomery County Transportation Director Chris Conklin said in the press release on Tuesday that the Shared Streets program has been “well received” during the pandemic.

“Throughout the pandemic, Shared Streets has been a creative solution that has greatly impacted the way we gather. It has helped maintain community connectedness and vibrancy,” Conklin said in the press release.

Additionally, Alcohol Beverage Services Director Kathie Durbin said that businesses have been allowed to expand their outdoor alcohol service.

“Businesses have been compliant, and they appreciate being able to offer extended outdoor dining. They want to keep this program in place as long as they can,” Durbin said in the press release.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com