2021 | Government

Montgomery County will continue shared streets program through summer

‘Steeteries’ to remain for dining, but many ‘greenways’ will reopen for traffic

share this

The Bethesda Streetery.

File photo

Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation will continue its “shared streets” program through the summer, in which select roads and parkways are closed to vehicular traffic.

The county launched the program last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was seen as a way to create additional public space for biking and walking, and to increase space for outdoor dining to help struggling businesses.

The outdoor dining areas have come to be known as “streeteries,” in which people can sit down after buying meals from surrounding restaurants. Those include:

  • The Bethesda Streetery
  • The Wheaton Streetery
  • The Silver Spring Streetdine
  • The Streetery on Gibbs in Rockville
  • The Takoma Park Streetery on Laurel Avenue
  • The Germantown Streetery at BlackRock

County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release on Friday that he is pleased that the Shared Streets program is continuing through the summer.

“As we continue to reopen, we are encouraging all Montgomery County residents and visitors to support our restaurants,” he said in the press release. “The Shared Streets programs will allow restaurants to serve more tables while diners can enjoy summer weather and festive atmospheres.”

The Bethesda Urban Partnership, which manages the Norfolk Avenue Streetery in Bethesda, has expressed a desire to keep it in place beyond the summer.

Another part of the Bethesda Streetery, on Woodmont Avenue, is managed by landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust in partnership with the county.

Federal Realty is committed to keeping that part of the Streetery open at least through the fall, spokeswoman Jill McCarthy told Bethesda Beat this month.

“We love the Streetery and the restaurants love the Streetery,” she said.

McCarthy added that Federal Realty is working with Rockville officials on also keeping the Gibbs Street Streetery open through at least the fall.

The county also has transformed certain roads into “neighborhood greenways” by limiting them to pedestrians, bicyclists and local traffic only.

The temporary neighborhood greenways are in or on:
• Aspen Hill in Silver Spring
• Greenwood Avenue in Silver Spring
• Grove Street in Silver Spring
• Kennebec Avenue in Takoma Park
• Sudbury Road in Silver Spring
• Windham Lane in Silver Spring
• Woodland Drive-Amherst Avenue in Silver Spring
• Woodland Drive South in Silver Spring
• Newell Street park expansion in Silver Spring.

Maps and information about each are posted online.

The county’s transportation department said in the press release on Friday that many of these roads will reopen to vehicular traffic.

Last month, the County Council issued an informal statement of support for keeping some roads and parkways open only to walkers, bikers and businesses.

Bethesda Beat editor and publisher Steve Hull contributed to this story.

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