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Montgomery County Department of Transportation Opens Aspen Hill and Silver Spring ‘Neighborhood Greenway’ Shared Streets

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 19, 2020

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) today transformed Holdridge Road in Aspen Hill and Grove Street in Silver Spring into temporary “neighborhood greenways,” which are roadways that welcome pedestrians and bicyclists while limiting vehicles only to local traffic and emergency vehicles. Part of MCDOT’s “Shared Streets” initiative, the greenways will support residents during the COVID-19 health crisis recovery by providing more neighborhood space for outdoor activity and physical distancing.

Shared Streets adjusts the uses of public spaces for residents and businesses to support in-street activities, such as biking, walking, outdoor dining and retail activity in a way that complies with County and State of Maryland COVID-19 reopening guidelines.  

The initiative was launched today with ceremonies at the Aspen Hill Greenway, which modifies 1.2 miles of Holdridge Road from Olympic Street to Urbana Drive. Grove Street in Silver Spring modifies 0.5 miles from Bonifant Street to Sligo Avenue.  

As MCDOT continues to establish temporary outdoor dining areas and neighborhood greenways, the department also launched another program that gives any County resident the ability to request a smaller version of Shared Streets to their neighborhood.  

“Our engineers and planners have been developing neighborhood greenway concepts for some time and now we are excited to use those plans to create immediate relief for our residents seeking more space for biking, walking and other active uses of neighborhood streets,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “As MCDOT continues making progress on longer term and more permanent safety improvements, I am proud of our staff’s ability to flexibly and creatively make immediate changes in response to the health crisis that support changed transportation patterns and space for physical distancing. These Neighborhood Greenway Shared Streets support both safety and recovery in the County.”  

MCDOT conducted a Shared Streets survey that so far has received 800 responses. Preliminary analysis of the results shows overwhelming support for neighborhood greenway-style connections. 

MCDOT has installed signs around the greenways informing roadway users and neighbors of the temporary changes. Safety, slower speeds and keeping alert for vulnerable roadway users will be emphasized for drivers. Traffic control devices (such as barrels) are in place with signage to calm traffic, alert drivers and highlight to pedestrians and cyclists that the roads have been adapted to support safety for all users.  

Additional information is available at the Shared Streets website at montgomerycountymd.gov/DOT/sharedstreets/

The website includes information on streets with limited access to support outdoor dining and curbside pickup zones for restaurants and retail activity.  

If the Shared Streets pilot locations prove successful, MCDOT will select additional locations based on criteria that includes access for Equity Emphasis Areas, connections between residents and activity centers, connections to other trails and parks, lack of existing sidewalk infrastructure and population density. 

The Shared Streets concept follows the County’s Vision Zero plan to reduce severe injuries and fatalities from traffic-related incidents.  

For ongoing updates, follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter or go to the department website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcdot

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Release ID: 20-329
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389