You Can Request a ‘Slow Street’ In Your Neighborhood During the Pandemic

You Can Request a ‘Slow Street’ In Your Neighborhood During the Pandemic

What streets should become slow shared streets in your neighborhood?

From WAMU 88.5 Radio

During the early stages of reopening, Maryland’s largest county quickly turned downtown streets into open-air dining. Officials closed roads near trails to create temporary greenways, making more space for overcrowded trail users.  

Now, residents can request that their neighborhood streets get the “shared streets” treatment of barricades and signs at the end of a block indicating local traffic only. The idea is to open them up for safer walking, biking and play.

As people have been stuck at home, traffic has dipped way down. Some people are reluctant to get into shared, enclosed spaces like buses and ride-hailing vehicles. So cities across the world are developing new strategies: adding hundreds of miles of new bike lanes, creating “streateries” and repurposing streets for recreation.

Streets along trails in Aspen Hill and Silver Spring have been closed to thru traffic to allow more space for trail users. Greenways may also soon come to areas like Wheaton, Glenmont, Silver Spring, Takoma Park and Forest Glen.

These smaller closures on neighborhood streets are a one-time request that can be made by any resident.

MCDOT will come set up signs block off half of the road with a “road closed to thru traffic” sign at the ends of the area to help cut down on traffic and alert drivers that the block is being used for walking and cycling. Drivers can still use the streets but they must slow down and share the street with people. The one-time request can be for a Monday through Thursday closure or a Friday through Sunday closure.

Amy Ginsburg


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