Montgomery County announced Tuesday that they will extend their Shared Streets program until November 28, 2021.
Montgomery County has creatively approached pandemic response with their Shared Streets program by combining concerns over resident health and safety with economic recovery of local businesses.
The Shared Streets program, first created in response to the pandemic, will be extended until Nov. 28, 2021. Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has managed 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. The concept aims to bring residents together in a safe outdoor environment while supporting County businesses that have struggled from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“The Shared Streets program has provided a safe gathering place for residents throughout a challenging time and has helped to support our economy,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “With the COVID-19 variants going around and students returning to school, we want to reduce the spread of the virus. Shared Streets is good for our public health, our businesses, and is a popular option with many patrons who prefer to dine outside. I appreciate the efforts of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and hope that we can continue Shared Streets into the future.”
According to a County press release:
The program has been popular with businesses and residents. While MCDOT assesses the road closures from an engineering perspective and is responsible for determining allowable uses of the roadway, the County’s Regional Services Centers collect resident feedback and inform the County on the best use for these spaces to maximize public benefit. Residents who wish to give feedback on a local Shared Streets program can call 311 and ask to be connected to the Regional Services Center for their area.
As part of the ongoing Shared Streets program, County residents can apply for a block permit to bring a smaller version of Shared Streets to their neighborhood. Once approved, MCDOT will temporarily limit vehicles to local traffic for the selected road. There is no cost to residents for a block permit, and applications can be found here.