In response to lobbying by WABA and other advocacy groups—Coalition for Smarter Growth, Action Committee for Transport, Sierra Club, PBTSAC and others—Montgomery County Department of Transportation has begun steps to create what they are calling Shared Streets, meaning closing off certain streets to only allow local car traffic. One major step MCDOT has taken is to set up a website to solicit suggestions from residents on county roads that should be closed off to through car traffic, allowing for slow and local car traffic, with a priority on bicycle and pedestrian usage. This incorporates the Bicycle Master Plan concept of Neighborhood Greenways.
MCDOT is also soliciting ideas for helping facilitate outdoor dining options by repurposing parking spaces adjacent to restaurants, and by closing off some streets to all cars, such as Norfolk Avenue in Bethesda.
In addition, MCDOT is looking for volunteers near the implementation of Shared Streets to monitor the cones and signs put down to close off streets to non-local car traffic. If you are interested in volunteering to help out, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, noting your street address.
Finally, we hope that MCDOT will set up a permit process whereby residents can ask to set up a shared street in their neighborhood. We will keep you posted on when this is implemented by MCDOT.
We could not make such progress without your support! Go to the MCDOT website on Shared Streets, take the survey, send specific suggestions for Shared Streets and help maintain the Shared streets implemented near you.