Closed Streets for Dining Continues Through Labor Day

Streeteries, a Montgomery County Department of Transportation shared streets program that closes areas to vehicular traffic for outdoor dining, is extended through Sept. 5.

The program, which includes streets in downtown Bethesda, Silver Spring and Wheaton, was begun to help restaurants, whose owners were suffering financially due to COVID-19.

“Our Streeteries program has helped reduce the transmission of the COVID virus while helping keep our restaurants in business and workers employed,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a news release. “Streeteries have provided a safe gathering place for residents throughout a challenging time. These are family-friendly spaces that encourage community gathering and create enticing destinations throughout the County.”

“Streeteries have become a model for street use as a community gathering place,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “In addition to being a popular destination for outdoor dining, Streeteries have contributed to people’s health and well-being by supporting walking, biking and spending time outdoors. These spaces have positively impacted the vibrancy of their communities. We are happy to extend this initiative throughout the summer.”

The Streeteries program also is coordinated by the county’s Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) and the Department of Permitting Services (DPS).

According to ABS Director Kathie Durbin, some establishments offer extended cafes with alcohol service within that area while others have open seating with a designated area to eat and drink. “Overall, the Streeteries have been very positive. Businesses have been doing a good job developing alcohol policies to keep customers safe, we have not experienced a lot of violations,” she said in the news release.

“Streeteries differ from the traditional ‘shared streets’ in that they have a hospitality focus and work to support multiple businesses,” said DPS Director Mitra Pedoeem. “Hospitality businesses located outside of the designated Streeteries can extend their service with an outdoor cafe through permitting. This will ensure overall public safety now that our rights-of-way are returning to normal use.”

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