Montgomery “Streeteries” Evaluated for Long-Term Plan

Montgomery’s four “streeteries,” established to creatively assist businesses during the pandemic, will continue to operate with some changes to certain location concepts.

Four “Streeteries” that were created in early 2020 by Montgomery County as a temporary concept to support businesses struggling from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and allow residents to gather freely on public streets closed to cars are now being reevaluated for fall as the pandemic continues to ease. The County’s Streeteries include Newell Street in Silver Spring, Price Avenue in Wheaton and Norfolk and Woodmont avenues in Bethesda.

The County has been working with communities around each location to establish a long-term plan for each space. The Streeteries will continue in some fashion, although some will change their concept.

“The Streeteries have provided a practical solution to a pandemic-related problem,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “They served as much-needed gathering spaces during the pandemic and provided a creative solution. Now as the situation has changed, we worked with the community in each area to decide how these spaces will continue to operate.  The Streeteries showed new possibilities and I would like to see how we might continue some form of these activities as we move beyond just trying to accommodate the activities within the constraints of the pandemic.”

According to the County press release, the future plans include:

Newell Street, Silver Spring

Newell Street will reopen to cars after Labor Day. However, it will close to vehicular traffic for scheduled public events throughout the year.

Price Avenue, Wheaton

Price Avenue will remain in operation as a Streetery for the foreseeable future.

The Mid-County RSC has indicated that it is looking to expand the Streetery to be more inclusive of bicyclists and walkers. A community meeting regarding the Streetery is planned for late September or early October to gather additional community feedback on ways to better accommodate pedestrian traffic.

This fall, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has planned repairs to its facilities that run under Price Avenue. The work may require WSSC to temporarily close the Streetery for a few days.

Norfolk Avenue, Bethesda

Norfolk Avenue will remain in operation as a Streetery, and closed to vehicles, for the foreseeable future.

Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda

The Woodmont Avenue Streetery will be temporarily suspended, and partially reopened to traffic after Labor Day during construction of the long-planned and partially constructed Woodmont Avenue Cycle Track.  Construction is expected to commence after Labor Day.

The Bethesda-Chevy Chase RSC is circulating a survey to gather feedback from residents and businesses. Survey results will be used in developing long-term plans for the Streetery. The owner of the adjacent properties (Federal Realty Investment Trust) is planning a privately funded redesign to increase outdoor dining capacity. Long-term design decisions have not been made, and the County will continue to work with the community to keep the area as a hub for outdoor dining while potentially restoring traffic movement through the block.