‘Shared Streets’ initiative brings open spaces to Montgomery Co.


Empty road, closed for pedestiran access.
Arlington Road in Bethesda is closed to vehicles from Kenwood Forest Lane to its intersection with Little Falls Parkway from 9 a.m. on Fridays until 6 p.m. on Sundays to provide increased space on local streets for pedestrians and cyclists. (Courtesy Montgomery County Department of Transportation)

As parts of the D.C. region reopen and more people head outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a new plan in Maryland to turn some roads into open spaces.

The Shared Streets initiative in Montgomery County is turning some county sidewalks, roads and parking lots into spaces where businesses and pedestrians can take part in activities while also maintaining social distancing measures.

This will allow for retail pickup zones, restaurant space and more outdoor activities.

The goal is to take a balanced approach by providing opportunities in various communities, according to Montgomery County Department of Transportation officials.

Shared Streets will be implemented in areas where pedestrian traffic is high and space is limited.

Lane closures will also take place to test the best methods in certain areas.

Some streets may also be designated for only local access, with traffic being redirected to better accommodate some of the changes.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is making similar changes to state roads.

So far, 42 temporary ‘no parking’ curbside food pick up zones have been set up in Bethesda, Pike and Rose in North Bethesda, Silver Spring, and Wheaton.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up